Vexx: Shadow Puppets, ch. 26Chapter Twenty-Six
There was really much debate to be had about weeding before or after irrigation. On the plus side, the mud made it easier to pull up the pesky plants. On the down side… well, there was mud. Vexx sat back and wiped his forehead with the back of his hand. At least harvest was coming soon. Then weeding would be the least of his worries. He was tempted to throw the idea out now and let the things do whatever they wanted. It wasn't as if the weeds could get very big before the first frost anyway. Still, after the neglect that his herb garden had suffered while he was recovering, he figured that he needed to put all the effort he could into things to get a decent harvest now. He did want to have a reasonable amount of tea over the winter, so work it was.
The sound of footsteps caught his attention. Vexx sat up, sighting a figure moving between the trees. Kiri approached, lifting her skirts as she moved thoug
Vexx: Shadow Puppets, ch. 25Chapter Twenty-Five
Warm sunlight was on his face. The scent of herbs and a faint hint of smoke were in the air. He knew even before he was fully awake that this meant he was in the healer's house. He could hear the wooden wind chimes clattering in the breeze outside, warding off any evil spirits that may do harm to the patients. His head was lying on a soft pillow, a warm blanket was tucked up to his chest. He shifted his sore muscles and then stopped himself. Someone was holding his hand.
Vexx opened his eyes and brought himself fully into the waking world. He stared up at the thatched ceiling for a time, unsure if he should move. The room was silent. Carefully he turned his head.
Sitting on the floor was Gly. His eyes were closed, his head resting on the edge of the bed on his folded arm. He looked a mess from the battle, bruised and bandaged. Vexx imagined that he looked no better off himself.
Vexx: Shadow Puppets, ch. 24Chapter Twenty-Four
The dark clouds in the sky circled and crackled with lightning. All eyes were fixed in terror upon the Shadow Wraith as he stood upon the hillside, gripping the sides of his head and howling like a thousand winds. His form shifted and twisted, becoming nothing more than shadows in the darkness. Finally, he reformed into his full Shadow Wraith state. He appeared Valdar in general form and stature, his fur was the color of ash. Jet black hair and two sets of twisted white horns framed his face. His hands slid out from the long sleeves of his shadow robe and he held them toward the sky. Silver blades tipped each finger, a graceful hybrid of metal and flesh, imitating the War Talon design and refining it. His forearms were metal as well, formed from many interlocking plates like dragon scales. His lips twisted in a smirk. The smirk gave way to laughter, loud and victorious, baring sharp fangs. His fierce
Vexx: Shadow Puppets, ch. 23Chapter Twenty-Three
The horrible things that the Astani had done to the world were well known by all. The stories had been handed down through the oral traditions of all creatures of Astara. However, every culture knew parts of the story that others did not. Within the span of a heartbeat, Halcyon not only told Vexx the version from the Shadow Realm, but showed it to him though dream-like images.
When the Astani built their Rift System, they were eager to use it to explore worlds unknown. One of these worlds was a barren desert full of darkness and little else. Many explorers came to this place, but their efforts to find life turned up absolutely nothing. However, what they did find was ancient technology that held the place in eternal night; the sundial. While the sundial in this Shadow Realm was broken, forever stuck on the dark side, it gave them some insight as to what these mysterious relics were. They had long been scattered across
Vexx: Shadow Puppets, Ch. 21Chapter Twenty-One
Giles continued his efforts to move in and hold Kiri back, but each time, he was quickly cast aside. Seeing that this was getting him nowhere, the blacksmith opted to leave in search of reinforcements instead. He was sure that Vexx could fend Kiri off, but that was a large part of the problem. He didn't want either of them dead.
Out in the village, people's gazes turned skyward in horror. Swirling dark clouds were gathering, illuminated dimly by a deep purple light within. They had seen these clouds before, when the sky ships of Dark Yabu had come to sweep them away. Giles turned his eyes skyward as well, cursing their ill fate. "Not again," he muttered as he pressed on down the hill. "Never again."
Shadow creatures were starting to filter into the village. The guards did their best to keep them at bay, but shadows are difficult to keep track of. Giles started to rally a group together to come with him to th