Chapter 1

Vin lay on his palette looking out the window. The stars were shining brightly over the sleepy town. Vin's house was perched high in the branches of a Vallenwood tree. The Ranger liked the way the house would sway in the wind. Vin was starting to get restless. He'd never stayed in one place for very long. He knew if he did the guards of the elven king, that were hunting him, would eventually find him. The others knew Vin had a past that he didn't like to talk about and they never pestered him about it. Maybe it was because they all had something in their past they regretted. All of them except Jaydee. He was at least still innocent. Vin laughed to himself thinking that if Jaydee kept tagging along with Buck he wouldn't be innocent for long. Vin decided he would go on a hunting trip to get the wanderlust out of his system. Once that decision was mad Vin drifted off to sleep.

The ranger woke early that morning to a sunny winter day. He rolled off the palette naked as the day he was born. The cold biting air didn't seem to bother the lean elf as he pushed the window open. The sun glinted off the snow as Vin surveyed the area. He could see the rooftops of the houses in town. Vin smiled knowing he was probably the first one up. He closed the window and got dressed. It wasn't as cold as he was used to but he dressed in warm clothes to appease Chris. The fact that Vin could wander around in the cold and not be effected by it drove Chris crazy. The elf smiled thinking about the first time he was seen walking bare foot in the snow. Nathan and Chris both scolded him for a fool and told him to put his boots on. Vin was just glad that he didn't tell them he had been wading in the stream to break the ice so the animals could drink. Vin dressed in gray wool leggings with a light blue silk shirt over it. He covered that with a fur lined leather tunic that came to the middle of his thighs. The last item Vin pulled on were fur-lined moccasins that came to his knees. Chris gave them to Vin as a gift. They were special to Vin since Chris made them himself. The mercenary had a way with leather and could make just about anything. Vin slipped them on and wiggled his toes. The otter fur inside was soft and waterproof. Chris had also put leather soles on so they would last longer. Vin quickly laced them up. He grabbed his belt and scabbard and cinched it around his waist. The half elf walked out onto the porch and threw the rope coiled there over the side. He scrambled down and headed for the village. Vin loved the winter. The quiet of the forest was soothing and he loved the sound the snow made as it crunched under his feet. Vin turned when he heard a whistle.

"Good morning Mystra," Vin said

The small pseudo dragon was perched in a near by tree. If you didn't know what to look for you would have missed her. She was the same white and brown coloring of the birch tree she sat in. Mystra flew to Vin's shoulder and he watched as her color changed to match his hair and the leather tunic.

"So where were you all night?" Vin asked as he scratched her chin.

Her response was flashes of images in Vin's mind. He saw a hearth with a pile of blankets next to it, then a flash of Nettie. Last was a plate of sticky buns.

"So you slept at Nettie's again," Vin smiled. "Bet she fed you good."

Mystra whistled and liked her lips. The ranger decided to head over to the older woman's small cottage in the woods. He knew she would be awake and that she usually had good food. As he wandered through the woods he saw a flash of red. When he looked again he saw a small clump red flowers at the base of a tree. The flowers were appropriately called 'blood drops on snow' and they had medicinal properties. Vin bent down and carefully dug them out with his dagger he pulled from his moccasin. He picked them up and continued on to Nettie's.

"Hello the cottage," Vin called as he got closer. He knew Nettie was a deadly shot with her cross bow.

"Vin Tanner is that you?" Nettie asked as she opened the door.

"Brought you something," he said as he stepped onto the porch.

"Blood drops," Nettie exclaimed as she took the plant. "These will come in handy during the winter."

"Figured they would," Vin said with a smile. "But I came for your sticky buns."

"How do you always know when I've made them?" Nettie asked as she ushered him inside.

"Mystra showed me," Vin said as sat down at the table.

"Tattle tail," Nettie said scratching her chin as she placed a plate in front of Vin. "Help yourself, son."

Vin eagerly did as she said and was soon stuffing himself with the buns. Nettie made them just they way he liked, covered in honey and nuts. Vin was on his third one when the door crashed open.

"By Myshalla, girl, were you raised in a barn," Nettie scolded her niece.

"Sorry aunt Nettie," Casey said as she shut the door.

Vin smiled at Casey. She was a spunky kid that was giving Jaydee a run for his money. Vin's bet was on Casey.

"Hi ya Vin," Casey said as she took a bun. "Is Jaydee awake?"

"I doubt it," Vin said as he bit into another bun.

"Oh well," she said. "I'll find him later. Ill going down to the pond to break up the ice."

"You be careful!" Nettie called as Casey dashed out the door. "That girls gonna be the death of me."

"Goin' hunting for a few days," Vin said licking his fingers. "Need anything?"

"Anything you bring back would be fine," Nettie said.

"Well I better go have a look around town," Vin said as he headed for the door.

"You be careful."

"Ain't I always," Vin said with a wink.

"Out you scoundrel," Nettie said affectionately as she swatted his behind with a broom.

Vin laughed as he went out the door waving to Nettie. On his way to town he passed the pond and Casey waved. Vin continued on his way and spotted another clump of the bright red flowers. He knew Nathan would appreciate them and he dug them up. When he strolled into the village some of the folks were just starting to stir from their homes. Vin greeted the blacksmith who was already busy at his forge. Vin walked to the cottage given to the other six protectors of the town. Chris would have preferred if Vin stayed there but he knew the half-elf need time alone. Vin went around back so he could enter through the kitchen. As he neared the door he heard a caw coming from the roof.

"Good morning Shadow," Vin said. "Come on in and I'll give you breakfast."

Vin opened the door and the crow flew inside. The ranger followed and closed the door. Vin moved to the counter and placed the plant he was carrying on it. He went to a cupboard and pulled down a bag of cracked corn. He poured some in a bowl and placed it in front of Shadow who was standing on the counter. Mystra went over to see what he had and the crow pecked at her. Vin quickly grabbed Mystra or there would have been a fight.

"You ate already," Vin scolded as he placed Mystra on the table.

Vin looked around the kitchen for a pot to put the blood drop in. he finally found one in the closet and potted the plant. When that was done he went out back to the cold cellar to get some meat. He came back with a ham and started cooking breakfast. Soon the aroma of bacon started to wake the others.

"Morning Vin," Josiah said as he came into the kitchen.

"Howdy," Vin said over his shoulder. "Want some eggs?"

"That would be most welcome," Josiah replied.

Shadow flew to Josiah's shoulder as soon as Vin placed the plate on the table. The crow begged for food, which Josiah couldn't ignore. Pretty soon his plate was empty after feeding Mystra and Shadow. Vin laughed and placed another plate in front of him. This time Josiah ignored them. The next to enter the kitchen was a grumbling Buck followed by a wide-awake Jaydee.

"Come on, Buck, its not that early," Jaydee said as he pushed the older man forward.

"Its early if you only went to bed a few hours ago," Buck said as he slumped into a chair.

"Mistress Katrina keep you up late?" Josiah asked with a wink and held out his hand as the sugar bowl floated towards him.

"Can't speak in front of the children," Buck said with his own wink.

Vin and Jaydee rolled their eyes at Buck's comment. Vin made eggs for the two new arrivals. Vin handed the plate to Jaydee first. He took his share then handed the plate to Buck.

"Damn it, Jaydee," Buck complained. "You hardly left me any."

"Sorry, Buck," Jaydee said as he began to eat.

"Yeah, right," the mustached mercenary said.

"Jaydee, take your share of the food again?" Chris asked as he walked in.

"Doesn't he always," Buck grumbled.

"You can afford to skip a few meals," Nathan teased as he followed Chris into the kitchen.

This started a round of pick on Buck. The mercenary took it in stride and told them he'd get them back another time. Chris glanced at Vin and noticed he was staring out the window. The leader could sense the half-elf was getting restless. He knew Vin needed some time alone. Vin turned to Chris and smiled. Chris returned the smile and continued with his breakfast. Vin could always tell when Chris was watching him. It was an odd connection they had but it got them out of a few tight spots from time to time. Vin's sensitive hearing heard the last member of their group waking towards the kitchen. Vin poured a mug of strong tea and fixed it the way Ezra liked it. He picked up the mug and walked over to the door. He held the mug out into the hall and it disappeared from Vin's hand.

"Come on in Ezra," Buck called.

"I must protest these early mornings," he said as he came in wearing a red velvet robe.

"It ain't that early," Jaydee protested.

"On the contrary, my young friend, the sun has yet to strike the market square," Ezra complained.

"But the sun doesn't hit the square until noon," Jaydee said confused.

"Precisely," Ezra proclaimed and finished his tea.

"Damn, Ezra, if everyone got up that late nothing would get done," Nathan said.

"And what do you have planned for this cold a dreary morning?" Ezra asked as Vin placed a plate in front of him.

"Check my remedies," Nathan said. "Make sure I have enough for the winter."

"A noble pastime I'm sure," Ezra said. "But seeing as how I detest the snow I shall be returning to my bed after I have consumed this wonderful meal."

"That reminds me, Nathan, I found this one the walk over," Vin said picking up the blood drop and handing it to Nathan.

"This is great Vin," Nathan said. "You'll have to show me where you found it."

"Just wanted to let you I'm going hunting for a few days," Vin announced. "So if you want anything special let me know."

"Can I come?" Jaydee asked eagerly.

"Well," Vin started but wasn't good at lying.

"You can't good Jaydee," Buck said.

"Why?" he said disappointed.

"It was gonna be a surprise," Buck said thinking fast. "I was gonna take you ice fishing on the pond."

"Really?" Jaydee said surprised. "I can't go with you Vin."

Jaydee talked excitedly with Buck about the fishing. Buck caught Vin's eye and winked. Vin smiled and was grateful. Sometimes Jaydee just didn't understand that Vin needed time once in awhile. Chris asked when he was leaving and Vin said some time tomorrow since he wasn't in a hurry. No one wanted anything special except Ezra. He wanted a nice goose dinner. Vin laughed and said it was the wrong season for goose. The Bard sighed and told Vin whatever he got was fine. When they were finished they put the plates in the wash tub. Vin was about to start on them when Josiah said he'd get them later. They each went off to do things. Ezra was true to his word and went back to bed. He knew if there was trouble they would come get him. Nathan asked Vin to show him where he got the blood drop. Vin was happy to and Jaydee tagged along. As they walked in the woods Vin showed Jaydee how to recognize tracks in the snow. Nathan also showed him what plants were good to eat and use for medicine. There weren't' many this time of year but there were a few. Jaydee loved these times in the woods with the ranger and the cleric. Being raised in a city he never learned any of this stuff. Jaydee was following behind Vin as he showed the ex-thief how to move silently. Suddenly Vin cried out grabbing his left arm and fell to the ground.

"Vin!" Jaydee and rushed to his side.

"What happened?" Nathan demanded as he ran over.

"I don't know," Jaydee answered.

"Wing hurts," Vin cried as he writhed in pain on the ground.

"Damn!" Nathan cursed.

"What id it?" Jaydee demanded. "What's wrong?"

"Something's happened to Mystra," Nathan explained. "Vin's feeling her pain. Vin listen to me, you have to separate yourself from her."

"Pain, hurts," Vin cried not listening.

"Help me get him up," Nathan said as he grabbed Vin's right arm.

"Can't you do anything about the pain?" Jaydee asked as he helped get Vin on his feet.

"It's not his pain it's hers," Nathan said as they got Vin to walk. "I have to get to Mystra and stop her pain."

They made there way towards the village when Vin looked up then broke out of their grasp and ran for town. There was no way they could keep up with him but they ran after him. They were both slightly winded when they got to town and saw Vin cradling Mystra in his arms. As they got closer they could hear what happened.

"We're really sorry Vin," Marcus said. "We were having a snowball fight and she flew right into it."

"But snow wouldn't have broken her wing," Buck pointed out.

"Is there something else you want to add?" Chris asked as he looked down on them.

"Yeah," Billy said not able to withstand Chris's glare.

"No, we'll get in trouble," Peter said.

"But it was our fault," Billy said. "We have to tell the truth."

"It's always better to tell the truth," Josiah said. "You won't get in trouble for being honest."

"Well," Marcus began. "We sort of put rocks in the middle of the snowballs."

"You gentlemen have done enough mischief for the day," Ezra began. "Why don't you go sleigh riding."

Vin was sitting on the ground holding Mystra as Nathan kneeled next to him. The cleric was able to take some of her pain away. He was trying to put her to sleep but since she was a magical creature she was counteracting his spell.

"Let's take her inside where it's warm," Nathan said.

"Can you help her Nathan?" Vin asked worriedly.

"I can't just not right now," Nathan admitted. "Animal healing wasn't one of the spells I studied last night."

"How long will it take you to learn the spell?" Josiah asked.

"Most of today and part of tomorrow," Nathan said. "I'm not trained in animal healing but I have used the spell before."

"I trust you Nathan," Vin said. "But what do I do with her until then?"

"I'll splint her wing so she can't use it," Nathan said.

"She's not going to like that," Jaydee observed.

"No she probably won't," Nathan smiled. "I'll make up a potion to put her to sleep. That should help."

They got her inside and Nathan told Vin to put her by the fire. Buck went into the spare bedroom and grabbed the blankets off the bed. He bunched them up in front of the fireplace and Vin placed Mystra on them. Nathan had disappeared into his room to get what he needed. Josiah had anticipated he would need wood for splints and found some the appropriate size. When everything was ready Nathan splinted her wing and wrapped it securely to her body. Mystra howled and hissed at him until Vin soothed her with his voice and some help from the bard. He was playing a charm animal spell on his harp. Usually he wouldn't be able to charm Mystra but since she was hurt the spell worked. Once it took effected Mystra calmed and just watched Nathan. When he was finished they got her to swallow something to make her sleep. Vin stayed with her as the others finished whatever chores they were doing when they were interrupted.

Chris came back later in the afternoon to check on Vin. As he walked closer to the fireplace he heard Ezra call his name from the nook by the window. Chris changed direction and headed for Ezra.

"I just wanted to warn you to be quiet," Ezra said in a hushed voice. "Our pointy eared friend is asleep."

"I figured he might be," Chris said sitting down at the table Ezra was using to write his music. "He was pretty upset."

"Yes he was," Ezra said. "Even if he thought he was hiding it we all could tell."

"I wish he wouldn't do that," Chris said.

"Hide his feelings?" Ezra asked.


"It's safer that way."

"You sound like you talk from experience," Chris observed.

"Perhaps I do," Ezra admitted reluctantly. "Emotions weren't something my darling mother let get in the way. She expected her son not to show them either."

"Hard way to live," Chris commented.

"Early on it was but when I started showing a talent for being a bard I couldn't deny them," Ezra said. "Playing to crowds and putting feelings into my music was what I wanted to do. Naturally my mother was appalled."

"Naturally," Chris smiled. "But why does Vin hide his emotions."

"Elves, by nature, aren't an emotional race," Ezra said. "They live to long to be governed by them"

"Yeah but Vin was raised by humans."

"True," Ezra admitted. "But I have a feeling they weren't happy times."

Chris figured Ezra was probably right. He knew Vin's mother had died when he was very young. He never knew his elven father so he was passed around to various families in the village where his mother lived. That was until a couple came to town that took him in. The woman was a half-elf like Vin and her husband was a trapper. She fell in love with the sad eyed little elf and asked her husband if they could take him in. They had no children of their own and he agreed. Vin said that was the happiest time of his life but he never did say what happened to them and Chris didn't ask. He nodded to Ezra as he got up. He headed for his room and glanced at Vin as he passed. The half-elf was curled protectively around Mystra on the blankets by the fire. His face was relaxed in sleep and Chris swore he looked to be twelve years old even though Chris knew he was close to thirty. Considering how old half-elves lived Chris laughed figuring that in human years he probably was only twelve. He continued down the corridor to his room.

A few hours later the others returned to the cottage as snow began to fall outside. Vin was awake and was sitting with Ezra listening to him play. Vin had a harmonica his adoptive father had given him but he never played it by Ezra. Actually he just liked to blow notes in it and he knew it would drive the bard crazy. Mystra was still curled by the fire asleep. Vin plopped on the couch and grasped the dragon torque around his neck. He said a magical phrase and the dragon open it's mouth and let go of it's tail so Vin could remove it from around his neck. Jaydee knew what he was about to do and sat down next to him. Vin uttered another magical phrase and an image began to appear inside the circle of the torque. The image was foggy at first then cleared. It showed a green field with various wild flowers scattered through it. The field remained empty for a few minutes then suddenly a white streak went flying by. Finally Ice walked into the picture and she turned to Vin and bared her teeth and a dragon smile.

"Hello Vindarin," she said.

"Hi," Vin smiled. "Just wanted to see what Greylin was up to."

"Just a minute," Ice said.

She turned from them and roared. In a short while a smaller version of the full-grown white dragon stood next to it's mother. Greylin was half the size of Ice.

"Wow!" Jaydee said. "She sure has grown."

"And she is quite lovely," Ezra said looking over Vin's shoulder.

When Greylin realized whom it was she bellowed and became excited. She started jumping up and down as she flapped her wings. This caused her to leave the ground for short periods of time.

"I see she's learning how to fly," Josiah said with a smile.

"Shhh be quiet a minute," Buck said. "Greylin's trying to say something."

"Brover Mine," she said excitedly and pointed at Vin.

"Yes that is your brother," Ice smiled lovingly down at her then turned to Vin. "She made us promise to adopt you."

"I see," Vin smiled.

"Mine, Mine!" Greylin bellowed loudly.

"I'm afraid we can't get her to understand your name is Vin," Silverclaw said as he appeared in the magic circle. "So I'm afraid you're called Mine."

They all laughed at that and Greylin roared. Finally something caught her attention and she raced off. Vin said good bye to her parents and ended the spell. He placed the torque around his neck and said the magic word. The dragon head grabbed its tail sealing the ends.

"Wow she's really grown," Jaydee said. "I miss her."

"So do I," Vin said. "Jaydee can you do me a favor?"


"Can you watch Mystra for me while I go hunting?"

"You want me to watch her?" Jaydee said surprised.

"Yeah she likes you," Vin said. "Besides I know you'll take good care of her."

"Yeah I'd be happy too," Jaydee said excitedly. "Thanks."

It was Nathan's turn to prepare dinner and he stuck his head in from the kitchen and said it was finished. They all went in to eat. When they were done they spent a quiet evening by the fire. Vin finally announced he was going to sleep. He decided to spend the night at the cottage instead of walking all the way back to his house. He wanted to get an early start on his hunting trip. They all wished him good night as Vin disappeared down the hallway.

Chapter 2

Vin was up early the next morning getting ready to leave. It felt odd leaving without Mystra. Nathan still had to study more of the heal animal spell and he wouldn't be finished until later today. Vin strapped his provisions and gear behind the saddle. He was checking the straps on the saddle when he heard someone enter the stable. There was only one other person who would be up this early. The half elf smiled knowing Chris would check on him before he left.

"Got everything?" Chris asked.

"Yup," Vin replied as he turned around.

"I got something for you," Chris said holding out a bundle.

As Vin took the bundle it cascaded down revealing a cloak. It was made of soft thick wool in a light gray color. Vin smiled knowing Chris worried about him getting cold. He didn't have the heart to tell Chris elves could with stand cold temperatures without protection.

"Thanks," Vin said as he threw it around his shoulders.

"How long you going for?"

"Two or three days," Vin said as he tightened the straps one last time. "If I ain't back by the end of three days you can coming looking."

"What makes you think I'll come looking for your sorry ass," Chris said after hearing the teasing tone of Vin's voice.

"Because you will," Vin said with a smile as he led his horse outside.

Chris watched as Vin swung into the saddle. He didn't like the elf going off by himself but knew it was necessary. Vin needed time alone to get himself centered again. He knew he was worrying for nothing but he was getting a bad feeling. Chris stepped closer to the horse as Vin picked up the reins.

"Be careful," Chris said.

"Ain't I always," Vin said with a wink as he turned his horse and trotted away.

Chris watched as Vin cantered off down the road. When Vin disappeared around a bend in the road. Chris walked back to the cottage with a frown on his face.
+ + + + + + +

Vin traveled half the day to his favorite hunting spot. The trees were thick along the base of the mountain and Vin wove his way through them to the lake. As he came out of the trees the lake appeared before him in all its glory. The crystal clear water reflected the majestic snow covered mountains on its serene surface. It was called Mirror Lake for that reason. Vin swung his horse to the north and traveled along the lake. A loon's haunting call could be heard echoing across the water. It was answered by two others then all was quiet. Vin rode for another hour when he came to the spot he was looking for. It was a stand of spruce in a semi circle next to the lake. Their dark blue/green needles stood out vividly against the snow. Vin rode through the trees to the middle of the clump of trees. This sheltered area made a perfect camp. Vin dismounted and dropped his horse's reins. He brushed away the pine needles to reveal dried summer grass. The horse contentedly began to forage as Vin removed the tack. When the horse was taken care of Vin started a shelter for himself. Vin walked over to some trees that had branches touching the ground but had enough room for him to crawl under closer to the trunk. Vin stacked the branches down to secure them then crawled back out. He went over to another tree and cut off some of the branches. He took these and weaved them into his shelter making it cozy inside. Next he cut more branches to use as bedding. When he was done he moved his things inside then went look for firewood. The days were short this time of year and it was starting to get dark as Vin finished gathering wood. This didn't deter the elf since he could see in the dark. When everything was finished Vin grabbed his cloak and secured it around his shoulders. He'd taken it off earlier while he was making camp. After checking his horse had enough to eat he picked up his bow and headed for the lake.

+ + + + + + +

The rest of the day went uneventful for Chris and the others. The cold and snowy weather was keeping bandits away. The only thing they had to worry about was trolls and orcs. The cold weather sometimes drove them down from he mountains looking for food. Chris was sitting on the porch watching the road when Buck came out of the cottage to sit next to him.

"He can take care of himself," Buck said knowing whom Chris was worrying about.

"I know," Chris said. "I just have a bad feeling about this trip."

"When did you become such a mother hen?" Buck asked teasingly

"When this town picked us to protect it," Chris said.

"I can see you are going to be no fun for the next couple of days," Buck said. "If you didn't feel right about this trip why didn't you just tell Vin no."

"You think he'd listen?" Chris snorted.

"No," Buck chuckled.

"Damn, Buck, how did this happen?" Chris asked.

"What, Vin getting to ya?"

"Yeah," Chris sighed.

"Don't exactly know," Buck admitted. "I know Jaydee sure snuck up on me."

"Well I'll tell you one thing," Chris said as he stood up. "Its too blasted cold to sit out here worrying about some skinny elf."

"Right, especially when you can sit inside where it's warm and worry just as good," Buck laughed.

"Nathan heal Mystra yet?" Chris asked as he opened the door.

"Not yet but he was almost finished studying," Buck said. "Jaydee's been real good with her."

"I know Vin felt better having Jaydee watch her," Chris said as they moved further into the cottage.

"Jaydee was so excited Vin asked him," Buck said chuckling. "He's been carrying her everywhere."

They walked into the common room to find Jaydee and Mystra siting on the couch. The little dragon was curled in Jaydee's lap watching him repair a leather halter. Her splinted wing was secured to her back.

"Hey Buck, Chris," Jaydee said. "Is it still quiet out there?"

"Yup," Buck said sitting next to Jaydee. "And getting colder."

"Yeah," Chris agreed sitting in on of the chairs. "It looks like more snow is coming."

"Oh joy," Ezra said as he stepped out of the kitchen carrying a steaming pitcher. "That is all we need."

"It could be worse, brother. "Josiah said following him with a try of mugs. "It could be raining."

Ezra rolled his eyes at Josiah's comment as he placed the pitcher of mulled wine on the table. Josiah put the mugs next to it and picked up the pitcher and stared filling the mugs. When they were filled he handed them around. Josiah sat on the other couch with Ezra. Shadow flew over to sit on his knee. The magic user offered his mug to the crow and Shadow took a drink. When the crow was finished Josiah drank out of the same mug.

"That, my good sir, is revolting," Ezra commented and Josiah laughed.

"Josiah can I ask you something?" Jaydee asked.

"Of course."

"Why do you have familiars if it causes you pain when they get hurt?" Jaydee wondered.

"The benefits far out way the disadvantages," Josiah replied. "I can see through Shadow's eyes giving me the advantage over someone trying to sneak up on me. Mystra offers more to Vin since she is magical. But the thing they offer the most is their love."

"But what happens if they're killed or die?" Jaydee asked. "Will you die also?"

"No the bond doesn't work that way," Josiah smiled. "If Vin or I die the bond is broken and they revert back to being wild. If they are killed we lose a dear friend. Shadow is my second familiar. My first was an owl."

"What happened?" Buck asked enjoying the tale as much as Jaydee. Maybe more.

"She was killed a few years back," Josiah sighed. "I still miss her."

"So if you get hurt they'll know?" Jaydee asked still curious.

"Yes," Josiah said scratching the feathers on Shadow's chest. "That's one of the advantages they can go for help."

When Jaydee's insatiable curiosity was satisfied they sat around the fireplace in companionable silence. Ezra was playing a soothing tune on the mandolin the Silver dragons had given him when Nathan came into the room.

"Finished?" Josiah asked.

"Yup," Nathan sighed. "Forgot how complex that one is."

He walked over to Jaydee and picked up Mystra. The cleric sat down with her and removed the splint. Mystra hissed at him when they were removed since it hurt. Nathan ignored her as he placed his hands on her wing and back. Nathan began to chant and the others watched expectantly. Mystra chirped and tried to move away. Jaydee moved over to keep her distracted as Nathan continued the spell. Finally Nathan was finished and he released her. AS soon as he let go she tried to fly. The wing wasn't strong enough to support her and she landed awkwardly.

"What's wrong Nathan?" Jaydee said picked up a very frustrated Mystra.

"She'll be fine by tomorrow," Nathan said.

"Wooee she is not happy," Buck laughed as Mystra tried to fly again.

"Stop that," Jaydee scolded as he caught her. "Tomorrow you can fly."

Mystra chirped then cocked her head to the side staring at Jaydee. Ezra chuckled as the young mercenary was snared in the dragon's gaze.

"None of that my dear," Ezra said as he took her from Jaydee's unresisting arms.

"Damn I hate when she does that," Jaydee said shaking her head.

"What did she want Jaydee?" Josiah asked.

"I think she wants to go to Vin," Jaydee answered. "I just kept getting flashes of him."

"Well my winged darling I do not believe you will not be going anywhere for awhile," Ezra said as he sat Mystra on his lap. She tried to lock eyes with him but couldn't. "Your feminine wiles won't work on me."

They laughed as Mystra gave a snort and jumped off Ezra's lap. She walked over to the fireplace and curled up on the rug. They spent the rest of the afternoon repairing their armor and other gear. Dinner was a quiet affair without Vin. Usually the elf and Jaydee could try the patience of the gods. With out Vin, Jaydee was a little more subdued. After dinner Ezra enticed them into playing cards. They played for a few hours then went to bed.


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