The Tale of Ander Collins--Chapter Thirty One

Fiction By LoriAnn // 4/5/2010

*(For Real, this time. Sorry folks--but you have to admit, that was a fun April*



The first time Ander had held the Vial, it only pulsed gently in his hand, not showing its true nature and burning him until several minutes after he picked it up. This time, as he wrapped the fingers of his left hand around it, the Vial gave him no such second chance.
Immediately, he felt the heat that froze his hand into position—but he didn’t have time to think about that as he landed from his flying leap. His left foot came down first, slipping off the edge of a fallen shield and throwing him off balance. He fell, bringing the Vial in close to his chest to keep it from breaking when he hit the ground.
Even as he tumbled, Ander heard the flapping of putrid wings and an ear-piercing shriek. He rolled onto his back, coming face to face with the half a dozen minions that were bent on attacking him.
“Duck!” a gravely voice shouted, and Ander instinctively obeyed.
A heavy oak club flew over his head, slamming into the head of the lead minion and knocking it out of the air. The bulky form of Jagsod followed, tearing into the swarm with vengeful ferocity. Ander scrambled out from underneath the melee and leaped to his feet, the Vial burning hotly in his hand as he clasped it tight. His sword was lost—he had dropped it at some point; probably when he jumped. But there was a fallen sword a few feet away, and he pounced on it hastily.
Immensely grateful that he had caught the Vial with his left hand, Ander snatched up the sword and whirled around, just in time to catch a diving minion in the side of the head. The monster screamed and retreated quickly, glaring at him and hissing.
Jagsod was being attacked by three minions at the same time, while the surrounding soldiers held off the twenty more that had launched themselves into the conflict. Ander rushed to his friend’s aid, but it was too late.
With a triumphant shriek, the largest minion bore down on the ogre, talons flashing and eyes glinting in victory. Jagsod went down in a mass of leathery wings, buried under the mob of gargoyle-like monsters.
Ander shouted wordlessly, horrified. Before he could reach his fallen friend, a flash of green caught his eye.
Celzara was mustering the last dregs of her quickly waning power, and her eyes were fixed on Ander—or rather, on the Vial held in his grasp. He ducked the ray of power, scrabbling on his knees out of her reach.
“Dorlan!” Ander shouted, as the sizzling beam sliced past him. His cousin cut down a minion and spun. Ander stood, and Dorlan came alongside him.
“Give me the Vial,” he said, holding out one hand.
Ander held out the object, but shook his head. “I’d be glad to, but it seems to be stuck to my—“
Like a magnet repelled by the opposite end of another, the Vial flew from Ander’s hand to Dorlan’s, much to their surprise. Ander sighed with relief to see that his palm was barely reddened, rather than blistered and black as it had been before.
“Celzara!” Dorlan’s voice filled the room, somehow magnified to a resounding boom that rose over the clamor of battle and froze everyone in their steps.
“This has gone far enough.”
Dorlan dropped his sword and grasped the rose-shaped stopper of the Vial. With a sharp twist, he pulled it off.
Green light exploded from the vial, twining around his body like vines, and Ander stumbled back from his cousin, blinking against the brightness.
“You’re time is over, Celzara!” Dorlan said, his voice still amplified by the Vial’s power. Green fire burned in his eyes, and Celzara visibly staggered under his stare. She collapsed into her throne, panting. She tried to muster up another burst of power, but the last blast had drained her. She was helpless.
Shyllen, shifted down into her human form once again, came to stand beside Ander. The green light left Dorlan’s hands in a cloud of glowing sparks, swathing Celzara in its radiance. She tried to claw through it, shrieking, but to no avail. They watched in fascination as Celzara’s magically-fabricated youth faded, leaving behind a diminished old woman—her hair graying, her face wrinkled and sagging, and her hands spotted with age.
The minions screamed, writhing in anger as a similar glow teased about their ugly heads. Rising as one, they fled over Celzara’s throne and into the still-open rent behind her. As the last foul creature darted through with an infuriated, yelping cry, it slammed shut with a clap like thunder.
A great cheer, deafening in its force erupted from the rebels—Dorlan had won! The Denwold King had triumphed!
Denwold! Denwold! The King! The Forest! Denwold!” The clash of weapons on shields and shouting soldiers shook the room.
“Look what you’ve done to me!” Celzara railed at Dorlan, shaking a trembling fist at him. She didn’t even have the energy to stand. How could this be the same woman they had all feared and dreaded? She was powerless—a mere shell, worn thin by years of wielding magic that she had no business handling.
“And it’s about time, too,” Thraluic grumbled, joining them. He nudged Dorlan with a wing. “What took you so long?”
Dorlan shook his head. “I don’t know…I’m not used to having this kind of force at my disposal. But when I saw Jagsod leap to Ander’s rescue, I just got so mad—“
“Jagsod!” Ander gasped, pushing past Shyllen and Dorlan. He rushed to where the ogre had fallen and found him buried under three dead minions, one green hand sticking out from underneath. Ander frantically began to tug at the top minion, trying to drag the creature’s carcass away and barely managing to budge it. Thraluic reached over and lifted all three bodies off at once, exposing the ogre.
His green skin was pale, and there was a gaping slash from his left shoulder to the center of his chest. A streak of brownish blood streaked his sallow face, and numerous cuts crisscrossed his arms and shoulders. Ander heard Shyllen suck in a sharp breath behind him, and he couldn’t hold back a hiss of his own. Jagsod’s eyes were closed, and he didn’t move.
“Is he…” Shyllen whispered.
“I hope so,” Celzara whined, still flopped limply on her throne. “Murdering, conniving, traitorous, vile, nasty, ugly, disgusting—“
“Oh, do be quiet, Aunt Cellie,” Dorlan ordered, his eyes flashing again as he glared at her. A green glow appeared surrounding his hands, and Celzara’s mouth snapped shut with an audible click.
Ander knelt beside his fallen friend and took his hand, hoping against hope that the ogre wasn’t…dead.
“He saved me,” he mumbled, tears pricking his eyes. “He was so mad at us…but he saved my life. If he hadn’t taken on those minions…”
Dorlan laid a hand on Ander’s shoulder. “Is there a doctor about?” he asked the surrounding men.
“I know a bit of healing,” a dwarf—oddly clean-shaven for a man his age—stepped forward, sheathing the twin daggers he had been wielding.
Ander didn’t move as the dwarf crouched down beside Jagsod and felt his neck and wrist for a pulse. He tsked, examining the gash across Jagsod’s chest.
“Is he alright?” Ander demanded.
Suddenly, Jagsod stirred, and Ander dropped his hand as if it were a live viper. “Jagsod!” he exclaimed, relief flooding his voice.
The ogre opened his eyes and looked around in a daze at the faces bent over him.
“Are they gone?” he rasped. Shyllen laughed, gladness in her voice.
“Who? The minions?” Ander asked.
“Yeah…Are they gone?”
“The enemy has been defeated, friend ogre,” Dorlan declared. “If it hadn’t been for your quick actions in defending Ander—“
Jagsod started to sit up, but the dwarven healer pushed him back. It was a measure of how injured Jagsod was that he didn’t protest.
Ander patted his arm awkwardly. “Thanks,” he said in a quiet voice. “I know you were angry with us, and…” Fumbling for words, he shook his head. “Thanks.”
Jagsod winked—but it turned into a wince. “Glad to help…Friends?”


Hurray for King Dorlan and

Hurray for King Dorlan and the Denwold! :0)

You didn't kill Jagsod? I'm surprised, to put it mildly. And Thraluic's OK, good! All in all, I'm satisfied that I don't have to thump you over the head with some big hardback book! :0D

Heather | Mon, 04/05/2010

And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"


That was intense. To echo Heather, I am indeed surprised that Jasgod didn't die, and grateful that I don't have to knock you over with...wait I can't do that!

I'd have to write up something nasty for you. The only edit needed is  a "You're time is over," --it should be "Your time."

Julie | Mon, 04/05/2010

Formerly Kestrel


Awesome chapter! I like how you went for a compromise and almost killed Jagsod. lol great job! How many more chapters to go?

KatieSara | Mon, 04/05/2010


"Are all humans like this? So much bigger on the inside?"

Hey this is great! Love it,

Hey this is great! Love it, though i still think that you should have killed Jagsod after saying over and over in the past few monthes that you were going to do so, but I'm happy, he and Ander made up like good little boys and 'Aunt Cellie' is a harmless old woman.

All in all: Yay!

Kay J Fields | Tue, 04/06/2010

Visit my writing/book review blog at



they won!!! hurray! hurray! THE DENWOLD! THE DENWOLD!!!! THE KING!!!!!THE KING!!!!!! And jagsod is not died! WONDERFUL!!! absutley WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I enjoyed it. But could you finish it already!!! lol Love it! good job!

Kassady | Wed, 04/07/2010

"Here's looking at you, Kid"
Write On!


I was about to throw pitchforks at you (that seems to be the primary weapon around here) until Jagsod woke up.  This was GOOD.  I like how Dorlan defeated Celzara.  It's almost over, isn't it? :-(

Bridget | Sat, 04/10/2010

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

What Can I Say?

Lori Ann, this story is amazing.  How else can I say it?  I didn't bother reading it until a couple of days ago, and was instantly hooked.  I regret not reading it when you first started posting it... I was really missing out.  You should get this published.

(In retrospect, I didn't have to deal with cliff-hangers, since the next chapter was already posted.)

James | Sun, 04/18/2010

"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

Post more

Post more please!!!!

And love the new picture, But some how It doesn't bring justest ( how ever you spell that)  to Ander well at least to me! well its your character and if you think he looks like that then he looks like that!!!

Kassady | Mon, 04/19/2010

"Here's looking at you, Kid"
Write On!

Is That it?

I Agree with Kassady, post more! I sure hope that's not the end of the book.

Arya Animarus | Wed, 04/21/2010

Oh for the times when I felt invincible.