The Kolarin Cycle, Book One: Wildfire

(Haven't edited yet, there may be a few mistakes)
I came up with the idea for Wildfire a while ago but i was busy at the time and i never got around to it, but now i've finally started so here it goes. Wildfire is about a boy named Castir who was abandoned by his mother when he was little, she had given him into the care of a travelling circus of thieves, he quickly learns the skills of an acrobat and starts being sent on more dangerous missions, but the death of a loved one followed by the biggest heist of his life could ruin his.

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5. Chapter 4 Lavender, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme

The party arrived at TaCara late in the afternoon, Dorin again made wonders in the market place, producing enough money to purchase a room in an inn for the night, everyone sat in the room talking. 'What do you think the jewel is?' Emelra asked. 'I think it might be like Castir's key, what do you think Dorin?' Naran asked, everyone turned towards Dorin expectantly. 'Yes, it is like Castir's key except it doesn't produce portals, you will have to find out for yourself what it does.' Dorin said. He stroked his beard for a moment then added, finding it will probably be one of the many missions Lavender will have for you.' 'Who is this Lavender woman, what does she look like?' Emelra asked. 'I have no idea; I have never met her in person, though she is very high up in the rebel’s society.' Dorin said. 'What does my cloak do?' Castir asked suddenly, the thought had been nagging him since their escape of TaRin. 'Put it on and find out.' Dorin answered. Castir was a bit weary, what if the cloak hurt him, but Castir pulled the cloak out of his bag and pulled it on. 'Well?' he asked. 'Nothing,' Naran said. 'Pull the hood on.' Dorin said, he sat back in his chair and began stroking his beard again thoughtfully. Castir raised the hood over his blood red hair; Naran and Emelra were looking at him in shock, or were looking past him. Dorin smiled and said. 'Congratulations, Castir, you’re invisible.' Castir went wide eyed in shock, invisible how could he be, he looked down and saw himself standing right there. Suddenly the familiar searing pain on his wrist began, this time on the right wrist. He crumpled to the ground and the hood fell off. Emelra rushed to his side, Dorin sat there and said, 'He has to go through this if he wants to make you two invisible as well.' Emelra stepped back. It felt like his arm was being stabbed with a red hot sword, like he was being branded. Then, almost as suddenly as it began, the pain stopped. Like with the key, the scar was pink, and then faded to a black tattoo, though this one looked like a cloak, that was half faded. The hood looked like it was pulled over an imaginary head. Castir put his two forearms together, both tattoos were in the exact same place on his wrist, both the same length, now he had a key and a half faded cloak. 'Now when you get to TaMor, remember she lives on the east of town, ask around in the market place, she is very well known.' Dorin explained. 'Do you still have the scroll?' He asked. 'Yes it’s in my bag,' Castir answered. 'Good, like I said it explains everything, and don't open it, it’s about you, not to you.' Dorin said. 'I'm going to bed,' Dorin said and he stood up and walked off towards his bed, Emelra and Naran did the same. Castir stuffed the cloak back into his bag; he would be wearing it all the time from now on, just not always with the hood up. Castir was up first the next morning, he got dressed. First he pulled on his tight fitted, leather tunic and travelling pants, next his boots, then his cloak. He strapped his belt around his waist then his throwing knives around his thigh and waist; they were hidden by the cloak. His quiver was strapped over his shoulder with his bow and two long fighting knives strapped to his back. His bow was placed so he could shrug it off deliberately but not have it fall off if he was running. Lastly he pulled on, again tight fitting, leather gloves over his hands. His clothes were both functional and comfortable, the leather wasn't so tight so that he couldn't move, but not too loose that it would be caught on things. Naran woke up and got dressed as well, they both sat talking, waiting for Emelra and Dorin to get up. Emelra was the last one up, and the longest to get ready, when she did finish they packed up their things and went down for breakfast. Castir deliberately ate slowly as to stall for more time with Dorin. When they all finished, Dorin walked out of the gates with them, which was where he parted ways with them. He reminded them twice about Lavender, then left. It didn't feel right without Dorin but they set out south-east towards the sea port town of TaMor anyway. Emelra was bent over a map on her horse, so Castir had to lead the horse so it didn't wander off. Her nose was almost touching the parchment. 'Great, a river we either pay the fee for a ferry, go around or we swim.' Emelra said. 'What?' Naran asked. She held up the map for them to see. Castir saw a long black line winding down the map, right in their path. 'Ferry, I have some money left over from TaRin.' Naran said. Castir agreed, and so did Emelra, if it meant that we would get to TaMor faster. Naran paid the fee to get across the river, and arrived at TaMor three days later, it was around midday when they bought a room at the inn, called the sea breeze. It was an appropriate name as when the window was open, a refreshing sea smell wafted around the room, it was the smell of salt, but when there was a downwind, it would reek of rotting fish, and Emelra would rush to the windows and slam them closed. After a night of rest, Castir and Emelra went down to the market, to seek out the woman called Lavender. Naran decided to search on his own, and to stock up on supplies for their next trip. He must've learned some tricks from Dorin, as Castir got a glimpse of him negotiating with a smith over the price of weapon repair. Emelra wandered around for a bit, Castir drifting behind her vacantly, asking the shop keepers where Lavender lived. They knew the name, but were unsure of where she lived. Naran had caught up to Castir and Emelra, Emelra was talking to a man of about middling height, and he was bald and had crooked teeth. 'I was wondering whether you knew a woman named, Lavender.' He was about to reply when a voice behind Castir suddenly spoke. 'What do you want with Lavender?' Castir whirled around and saw a tall, slender woman; she had long, brown hair and dark blue eyes. She had high cheek bones and thin lips. When she turned to look at Naran, who had just caught up with them, he saw her ears were slightly pointed and flat against the side of her head.

'Dorin sent us to see her.' Naran said.

'Dorin,' she said longingly, then she sighed and added.

'It’s been such a long time since I last saw him, is he here?'

Naran shook his head. 'He left us back at TaCara.'

She seemed to come back to reality, 'follow me.' she said shortly.

The girl led them out of the market and towards the east side of town; they stopped outside a two storey shop. 'Horses?' she asked.' Naran shook his head. 'I didn't think we'd need them so I sold them to a man for money.' He replied. 'I'll see if I can get them back.' She said, then led them through the door into a little shop, little trinkets and toys lined the walls. Little glass animals, wooden toys and metal contraptions were stacked neatly on the shelves. The girl led them up a staircase into the living area above. It was just as filled with the trinkets as downstairs was. A girl about Castir's age was sweeping the floor and humming to herself.

What was this feeling in my heart? Who is this beautiful girl? Naran thought. He looked over at Castir, their eyes locked. Castir smiled slyly. Naran stared daggers at him, as if challenging him to voice his opinion. He grinned again then turned back to the girl. She had stopped sweeping now and was looking at Naran, taking in his appearance, probably admiring his sword or the way it was strapped across his back. Her hair was long and black, she had large brown eyes, her pale face was dusted with freckles along her nose. Her hair was tied up with a white ribbon, revealing slight pointed ears that, like the woman he met in the market place, were flat against her head. Naran moved to lean on the table but slipped and fell with a crash.

Castir burst out laughing and so did Emelra and the girl they met in the market place. The sweeping girl smiled and giggled. A woman and another girl with the same characteristic freckles and pointed ears swept out of a door and into the room. The woman smiled when she saw Naran on the floor, her hair was long and brown, a olive face framed large violet eyes. The girl walked over to stand next to the girl that was sweeping, as did the one in the market place. Now that they were next to each other, Castir could see that they were obviously sisters. The girl they met in the market place was the oldest; the girl that walked in with the woman was the middle child. She had blonde hair and green eyes. Her ears were slightly pointed and were flat against her head. All of them looked nothing like the older woman. 'Can I help you?' The woman with purple eyes asked. 'Yes we are looking for a woman named Lavender, have you seen her?' Naran said. 'I am Lavender,' the purple eyed woman explained. 'Well Dorin sent us; he said you would have our next mission.' Emelra explained. 'Dorin? Well you must be Castir, Emelra and Naran.' Lavender said. Naran nodded then asked,

'What would you have us do?'

'Well Thyme can show you your rooms,' she said. The youngest girl stepped forward. 'Follow me.' She instructed. Castir followed Thyme through the door Lavender came from and down a corridor. Thyme stopped outside two doors, 'You boys in this room and the girl in the other.' She said. 'My name is Castir, that’s Naran and this is Emelra.' Castir explained. 'My oldest sister is called Rosemary and the middle sister is Sage.' Thyme said. 'One of us will come and get you when Lavender is ready. Castir heard Naran sigh the middle sisters name, then he went to explore the bedroom, Castir followed after him. It was a neat little room it had two beds and a desk with a vase of flowers sitting on the desk. There was a little window overlooking the city, the house was up on a hill, so you could see over the tops of the buildings. A short platform, only big enough for one person to sit on stuck out the side of the building. 'You can choose what bed you want.' Naran said. 'Thanks.' Castir replied then sat down on the bed next to the window. Naran dropped on to the other bed and began to unpack his sack. Castir pulled his sack onto the bed and emptied it. His bow, bedroll, tent, quiver, spare knives, rations, leather clothes, two tunics, the scroll Dorin gave him and the key he pulled out last. There was a chest at the end of his bed and he put his clothes inside of them, as well as his bedroll, he placed the rations on the desk. Castir slipped the key into his pocket and laid the scroll on his lap. He kept his weapons with him, if past events told him anything; it was that anything could happen, at any time. Naran had finished unpacking, he had dumped most of his stuff in the end chest, leaving his swords on the bed. They talked for a bit, when Emelra knocked on the door. 'Come in.' Castir called. She sat herself on the end of Castir's bed. They all talked for a bit, when Sage knocked then entered. 'Lavender would like to speak with now, you don't need your weapons, we won't harm you.' Sage said. Castir ignored that and rose he picked up the scroll, then followed behind Naran, they turned into the end door. Lavender was sitting behind a desk, notes were scattered across the top, quills and ink were stacked in a corner. The room was small and, a lot like Dorin's, very messy. Her elbows rested on the desk, her hands clasped together and were pressed against her mouth. Three seats were lined up in front of the desk. Rosemary and Thyme stood in a corner; Rosemary was looking out the window. 'Sit down.' Lavender said. She waved her hand towards the seats. Castir sat in the middle, Emelra on his left and Naran on his right. 'I believe you have something for me?' Lavender said. Castir silently handed her the scroll then took the key out of his pocket, he laid the key on the desk. Lavender broke the seal and read the contents. Wordlessly she picked up and studied the key. 'May I have a look at that cloak?' She asked as she put the key back in front of Castir. Castir got up and took the cloak off. Lavender took it and ran her fingers across the fabric. 'Well it seems everything is in order, this will become your home for however long it takes for you to complete all missions, or the rebels say otherwise. Now go back to your rooms and rest, Thyme will come and get you when dinner is ready.' Lavender said. She stood up and went to go look out the window. This was an obvious dismissal, Emelra took the hint and stood up, Castir and Naran followed close behind.

They stayed with Lavender for a week. During which time, Castir got to know that Lavender did love to answer questions, everything Castir asked she would gladly answer. He also got to know that Rosemary loved to fight; Castir would see her kicking Naran's ass out the back. Castir found out that Sage was really shy, but very intelligent and that Thyme was a very happy person, she would always be smiling, whether she was cleaning, cooking, or just sitting by the fire, playing with Lavender's cat and her four kittens. They were playful but stupid creatures, they would always be up to something. They're always trying to jump from the cabinet to the chair, every time they would fail. But for every failure they would climb back to the top and try again. Castir used this time to get up to the pranks he never had time to do over the past few weeks. Things like placing plastic balls along ajar dors or slipping curry into peoples food. It was on the eighth day that Castir, Naran and Emelra received their first mission. Lavender had called them to her study after dinner, 'You are to travel to Chu Rian, and steal a mask from a man named Drow. This is his file, it contains information from family to habits, it has everything, read it carefully, then on the way back capture this woman and bring her back unharmed, she has information vital to our success. This is her file, good luck, you leave tomorrow.' Lavender explained. Emelra took both files, then she left, Castir moved to follow, 'No, I need to talk to you two.' Lavender said. 'The mask you must steal has to be stolen by Emelra,' she said. 'It’s one of those items, like my key and cloak isn't it?' Castir asked. 'Yes, though she can't be aware it’s for her, otherwise it won't work.' Lavender explained. She dismissed them both and retired to their bedroom.

The next morning Castir had breakfast then went to prepare all of his things, for the long journey to ChuRian. He slipped into his travelling clothes and packed the tight leather tunic and hose into the sack, the cloak he clasped around his neck, the key was hung on a thin, silver chain around Castir's neck. He strapped his bow and quiver to his back and his throwing knives around his thigh and waist; those were hidden by the cloak. Rosemary had bargained the horses back so they weren't walking to ChuRian. Castir and Emelra were saddling the horses when Rosemary and Sage walked up with the reigns of their own horses. 'Lavender told us to come with you, that way if any of you die or get caught we can bust you out.' Rosemary explained. 'I have a feeling we don't get a say in this do we?' Castir asked. 'None at all.' Rosemary said. Naran came out of the backdoor. 'What are they doing?' he asked. 'They have to come with us to bust us out if we get caught.' Emelra said. Naran just laughed and said, 'we are the best thieves in all of Kolaria, we aren't going to get caught.' Naran joked. 'Even so, we still must accompany you.' Sage answered. Naran blushed and went to say something but decided against it. Lavender came strolling up the garden path; she held a woven basket full of freshly picked strawberries. 'Are you ready to go now?' she asked. They all nodded.

'Well off you go then and remember what you have to do.'

'Steal the mask, find the woman, don't kill her, and bring her back here, got it.' Naran recited. Lavender said goodbye then walked back inside, mumbling about making a strawberry jam. They set off down the path towards the edge of town. 'Isn't Thyme coming?' Emelra asked. Emelra had gotten quite fond of the 10 year old, over the past few days. 'No she isn't she is too young to be going to be involved in the things you guys need to do.' Sage replied. 'Do you have your weapons?' She asked. They all said yes except for Rosemary, 'I forgot my lance, I'll be only a minute.' She said. Rosemary dashed back into the house and a few seconds later she came back out with a long lance, the shaft itself was long, thin and made of metal, the tip was made of red-brown metal, it was an intricate shape. 'That will break the first time you use it.' Castir said. 'I fought her when she was using it once; the shaft is as strong as steel and the metal never broke, even the thin end parts.' Naran cut in. 'If you say so.' Castir replied. 'What about you Sage?' Emelra asked. 'I'll be fine,' she replied. Castir noticed that she twisted her ring when she said this. Castir mounted his horse then rode it down the path to the gate.

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