Long Beneath the Keep

by KeeCoyote

Kee loved the solor equinoxe celebrations of the Midlands. He especialy loved the one at Metamor. It reminded him of the celebrations of his homelands in the Easternmost Kingdoms were it was known as Arival day. Arival day was celebration of the hero Fezor Tieg who had led his people from a great evil to the lands Kee had called home. It was also a time of rememberance and talking with and those who had passed away and a giving of gifts to the living. Kee thought of the gift he had purchased from booth he had been at. He looked at the gift a small wooden carven of a bird in flight, and smiled. It was all he could aford but the one who it was for would be pleased. Puting the carving in his belt pouch he was on his way.

Kee usualy went through pasage ways to were he wanted to go by using the magick pendant shaped like a key he wore around his neck. But lately it seemed every time after he used the key Raven Light Bringer was shortly about. So he was using the key less and less and runing to were he wanted when he deliverd his messages. The key had it uses yet this was especialy the one day he would not use the key. Were he was going it would not do to lead the Lightbringer there. He did not know why he was a little suspicious of the Lightbringer but he thought it had to do with her being a wolf morph and he a coyote morph. Wolfs would kill a coyote, they competed for the same foods. He came to a passage that was rarely used and went down the coridor making sure know one was looking he moved down it and went down the stairts that at the end of the old never used corridor.

As he went down the what usualy seemed to him endless stairway it seemed to double on him and he took the stairs that formed to the right. He knew that anyone else going down the coridor would only see the stairs to the left. The stairs to the left only went a little way beneath the keep. But the stairs to the right went way beneath the keep went to the caverns rumored to be under the keep.

Finaly coming to the bottom he was in a great cavern were there was a small lake on which a island was situated. On the island was what he once thought was a great stirated colum but was in fact petrified trunk of a tree bigger than most towers of the keep. Cuping his pawlike paws in front of his muzle he yelled "Ash! It's me Kiyu! It is The Solor equinoxe once more my lady!" Then Kee waited.

Kee did not have to wait long. After a few moments the water started to buble and vast horse like with stag like antlers apeared. Next a imense neck came out of the water. Kee was allways impressed when he looked at Ash. ANd he was greatful she remembered him and knew he was not after what she was gaurding. Ash was a lake monster cousin to the sea serpents that were a danger to ships at sea. Ash looked down at Kee and said his real name. "Kiyu, Has a year gone by allready?". "You can call me Kee, Ash, everyone above does" he replied. "And yes it has my lady and I brought you a gift for arival day once more." Taking out the small carving he bent on one knee and held it up to her. "Kee I am alive so stand". Looking at the small bird she did something with her body Kee thought was a equivelent of a smile. "It reminds me of when I was human and could go outside and not have to gaurd that from those who would take such power for them selves" Ash turned her head and looked at what would of on a ordinary tree trunk be small knothole in which was embedded a jewel biger than kee's entire body. The jewel seemed to pulse like a heart.

Turning her vast head looking to look at kee she then sighed. "Enough of what I gaurd. I sense you have been using my gift to you less and less Kee. Why is this?". "It is the priestes. Raven Lightbringer everytime I use it she is suddenly there"Kee said. "I think she wants the key to find the source of the Keeps powerful magic. And she might think its what you gaurd". Out of the vast mouth of Ash came a bubling laugh. "Does she know the limatation of the key?" "No I do not think so Ash, I have not been using the key much now. It has made geting about the keep easier, but it has become a crutch. Maybe I should leave it out somewhere for her to stumble on as a gift?" Nodding her vast head Ash laughed once more. "It's what your people call Arival day, times of gifts and she does so want it much. Let her have it". "Kee you may go. I will see you the summer solstice" Ash vast head and neck then sunk beneath the waters Kee knew her vast body encircling the island once more. Turning around he left the cavern and went up the stairs.

When he was up the stairs and out of the unused coridor he took out the key and said "Need a way to the Deaf Mule" Kee then hurried down the coridor that formed in front of it and dropped the key as if he was in a hurry and did not notice the key was gone. When he came to the inn he put on a worried expresion on his face and searched all over his vest and money pouch. The patron wondered why he was doing this and he exclaimed I lost my pendant. One of the patrons offered him a drink of ale which he kindly accepted then sat down trying to not chortle. He knew such a item would atrack Raven and that it would do he know good. The key was a facilator it made shortcuts through the keep allright. But it only led to places you had been before. He wondered if he would soon be hearing howls of frustation from the priestes' room soon, and what would be the next present to his former lover. Ashke whose very name meant trueheart.

"Long Beneath the Keep", copyright KeeCoyote