Chapter Three

Chapter Three

A Chapter by Aianarie (INACTIVE)

Chapter Three

 


          The four of us woke up very early the next day, before the sun had even began its ascent.  I was accustomed to waking so early, but for some reason, today I felt groggy and ever so much wanting to go back to sleep.

          But I could do no such thing.  I was going to Epsilia.

          We were all silent so as not to wake the girls as we ate the breakfast Mother had prepared for us.

          Sean looked as if he had gotten absolutely zero sleep.  Isaiah and Father looked solemn and tired as well.  I wondered.  They seemed deeply distressed about something.

          Was this trip more dangerous than I realized?  Or had something happened last night that I was not yet aware of? …Or both?

          “Is something wrong?”  I blurted out, not too loudly.  “Talk, do something, please.  The silence is very unnerving.”  All three of them looked at me without saying a word, which didn’t help my discomfort at all.

          “Lissy, times are changing.  Or rather, reverting back…” said Father, tearing a strip of bacon without the objective of eating it.

          I took a drink of my orange juice.  “Back to what?”

          Father hesitated briefly before answering.  “Back to the times of the Raven’s War.”

          I knew enough about the Raven’s War to know that that was very, very bad.  The war took place twenty years ago, so even Isaiah had not yet been born.  A year or two before the war began, a beautiful young woman of unknown ancestry and heritage named Clemenstra rose to a position of great respect and honor in the King’s Court.  The great king Rautor, to be precise.  Due to her scientific discoveries and the dramas and operas she performed in, she became quite a figure in Epsilian society.  Loved by many people for her powerful, charismatic presence.

          As time went on, however, the people started noticing changes in the woman.  Suddenly she was dark, sullen, bereft of happiness and vitality.  She stopped performing.  She moved into and spent most of her time in the bowels of the castle, secretly working on a project that she claimed would bring great change to Ancantha.

          She never mentioned that it would be a good change.

          One bitterly cold day in late December, the great King Rautor disappeared.  Nobody knew where he went, nor if he was alive or dead.  He just vanished.  The castle went into utter shock and then panic.  Epsilia and the rest of Ancantha followed soon after.

          Clemenstra could play the innocent card no longer.  She slipped a grin at a court meeting, and a young elf by the name of Tespin Hart dared to accuse her of the king’s disappearance.  She laughed; a horrible, gut-wrenching laugh the reverberated through the halls.  She touched the pendant that hung on her bosom, and it glowed with an eerie crimson flame.

          The room fell silent.  Tremulous footsteps and the sounds of sweeping clothing could be heard from somewhere not too far off.

          The nobles stood and drew their weapons, looking around anxiously.  When they looked back at where Clemenstra had been seated, she was no longer there.

          The nobles went up against several fledglings, and eventually managed to defeat them.  Somewhat easily.  Too easily.  Had it been a fluke…or a flat out joke?

          Several days passed; no sign of the witch or the fledglings.

          Then they came.  Hundreds of fledglings (no one knew where they had come from) and other strange creatures marched through the fields towards Epsilia.  War ensued for twelve days and nights…

          …I had never heard what happened after that.  When Mother used to tell used to tell me this story, she would just end with “King Rautor defeated the witch”.  No details of the battles or any events that took place therein.  The more I thought about it, the more curious I became, so I decided to forget about it for now.

          I would ask Isaiah later.


~*~


Our horses were saddled; our bags packed; our armor and weapons in pristine condition.  We were ready to begin our journey.

          “Meet Talia.”  said Isaiah emphatically, stroking the mane of the horse that I was to ride, “She’s a real beauty.”

          “Aw,”  said Sean, coming up behind us, “I think Isaiah’s found his girl.”  Isaiah rolled his eyes and smacked Sean’s shoulder when he passed.

          “Do the other horses have names too?”  I asked.  It was a silly question, something that Hope could’ve asked, but I was curious.

          “Yeah.  Mine is Faron, Sean’s is Drago, and Dad’s new riding horse is Kasha.  Yours is the only mare.  Figured you would want the female.”  said Isaiah.  He shot Sean a look, basically meaning don’t you dare comment on that.  Sean just smiled and continued stuffing things in one of his saddlebags.

          Father came out then.  “Are we ready?”

          “Yeah.”  said Isaiah and Sean at the same time.

          “Yes.”  I said.

          “Oh yeah, really important.”  said Isaiah, turning to me, “Remember, Lissy, when we’re in the Mist, keep your mind closed to everything except us.  Be emotionless.  We can’t risk anything.  And, only talk with your mind.”

          I wanted to ask why, but before I could, the men all mounted their horses and I quickly forgot to ask.

 

An hour into the trip, I started to feel really bored. The Mistlands that separated Araelia from Ancantha weren’t very interesting.  It was just an enormous valley of gray stone.  As the name suggests, it’s always blanketed with thick fog, so you can’t really see anything anyway.

          We rode in a diamond formation; Isaiah in front, and behind him, Father on the right and I on the left, with Sean taking up the rear.

          I stifled a yawn.  Then I saw something in the corner of my eye.  When I turned to look, I couldn’t see anything on account of the mist.  I shook my head and returned my attention forward.  I saw it again.  Something flame-colored and very fast had passed by to my left.

          I stared at the back of my brother’s head.  Isaiah.

          What?

          Did you see that?

          See what?

          I saw something pass by--on the left.  I think it was orange, but it was so fast.

          He looked around.  Hmm.  I don’t sense anything abnormal.

          I gripped Talia’s reins tighter and shifted in my seat.

          I saw it too.  Said Sean from behind me.

          What do you think it was?  I asked him.

          Phoenix hounds.  They normally leave people alone.

          Okay.  I wasn’t entirely convinced.  I had read about Phoenix hounds.  One of the stranger creatures of the Sister Lands.  They were basically short-haired wolves that had been perpetually lit on fire.  According to the book Sean was right, they won’t attack people unless they are disturbed, but…

I was no oracle, but my sense of premonition was strong enough to be sure that something was not right.  I called my brother again.

          Isaiah, something doesn’t feel right.

          Shh, I feel it too.  He said suddenly.  He glanced at Father.  Dad, ready your bow.  Just in case.

          Already done.  He answered.  We rode in silence from that point on, and after a few minutes the ominous feelings dissipated.  I almost wanted to go back and see what it was, because I was so sure that something--Phoenix hound or not--was going to pop out of the mist and knock my brother right off of his horse.

          But I really wanted to get out of this fog.  It was creepy, and being engulfed in it for hours was not a pleasant experience.

          The feeling returned.  This time it was much more intense.  I could almost feel the darkness coursing through my veins.  Then it disappeared.

          Surely I was going mad.

          “How long before--“  I clamped a hand over my mouth.  My brother looked back at me fiercely. I rarely see Isaiah make that sort of face.  Was it really that big of a deal that I spoke out loud?  At that point I didn’t really want to know.

          Isaiah was looking around anxiously.  I felt too embarrassed to look at Father or Sean to see if they were too.

          I started to feel really sick.  The Mist seemed to be trying to suffocate me.

          Lissy!  Shouted Isaiah.  Close your mind!

          I shut my eyes and tried to push the darkness out of my head, but it was too late.  It already got me.  I felt my body sway.  Talia had stopped trotting.

          Spektors!  I heard Isaiah shout. Sean!  Catch Lissy!

          Everything went black.

 

~*~

 

When I woke, I felt cold air all around me.  I could sense my brother, father, and Sean in the room.  Wait, room?  We couldn’t be in Epsilia already--

 --I opened my eyes.  We were in a cave.  Father was far away, seated on a rock, writing.  Sean sat at the cave’s entrance, obviously keeping watch.  Isaiah was pacing back and forth a few feet away from me.  I sat up and popped my neck.

“What happened?”  I asked.  Isaiah turned on me.

“You didn’t listen to me, that’s what happened.”  he said.  I was sure that I had never seen my brother so angry.

“I’m sorry.”  I said.  I could feel my cheeks flushing.

“I give you simple instructions--talk only with your mind.  Can’t you--“

“Alright, I get it.  I already apologized.”  I said, lowering my eyes.

“But--“

“Isaiah, let it go.”  said Sean.  “She’s never been in the Mistlands before.”

Isaiah sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.  “You know the story of the elfish wizard, Spektor…right, Lissy?”

I nodded gravely.  Of course I did.  Long ago, a thousand years at least, one of Ancantha’s first wars began in the canyons and valleys that now make up the Mistlands.  It was a war between the elves and the faeries.  The humans, unfortunately, were caught up in the midst of the war.  They were forced to choose sides.  There was no King, no Epsilia, and no Royal Court in those days, so there was little order amongst the Ancanthians.  The faeries managed to charm them to join their side.

But the faeries are known for their mischief.  It was a great mistake.

The elves were outraged.  Even with their superior intellects, battle was difficult against both the faeries and the humans.  Twelve of the elves’ best sorcerers were sent into battle.  Led by who was known as the greatest sorcerer in existence: Danellivir Spektor.

Their opponents didn’t stand a chance.  In the tragic Battle of Malia (named after the brave woman who led the human army), the Faerie King betrayed Malia and made an unexpected retreat, leaving the humans vulnerable.  Without the faeries, the humans had much less magical tactics--offensive and defensive.  They had to depend mostly on their weaponry and physical capacities.

Of course, that was nowhere near enough to go against the elves.  Within a day, almost all that existed of the human race in Ancantha was wiped out…after a series of horrific battles.

The faeries were next to suffer defeat, though nowhere near as painful.  Witnessing the massacre of the humans, the Faerie King surrendered to the Elfish King.  Through his wisdom and grace, the Elfish King proposed that a peace treaty be signed between all three races--elf, fairy, and human--be signed, and in addition, an alliance was to be formed between them. 

This deeply angered Spektor.  He wanted more. Selfishness, greed, and pride submersed his soul in darkness.  He and the other high wizards but one plotted to kill the Elfish King.

          The conspiracy continued as planned, until the Elfish King revealed another secret group of sorcerers--The Advent Order.  They easily succeeded in defeating Spektor and his followers--or so they thought.

          With his final breath, Spektor cast an irreversible spell on himself and his ten accomplices.  The spell trapped their souls in this world.  Unfortunately for Spektor, the spell also rendered their abilities useless for their purposes.  From that point on, the great wizard “lived” up to his name--a ghost, wandering the dark canyons without direction.  People say that the Mist of the Mistlands is a physical manifestation of his thoughts and emotions, in particular, his anger…

          “The Mistlands are very dangerous, Lissy.”  said Father, standing up with his arms crossed.  “The Spektors prey off of human feelings.  They will try anything to somehow corrupt someone’s mind so they can get in and possess them.”

          I swallowed hard.  “…Did they almost get me?”

          Isaiah glanced at Father surreptitiously.  “No.”  he said.  “Father warded off the spirits with a Light charm.  One time use, Lissy, and charms are extremely expensive.”  He paused.  “They’re usually not that aggressive…hmm, things are changing.  Please be more careful on the trip back, okay?”  Despite the seriousness and annoyance in his tone, there was also sincere, brotherly concern and I smiled at him.

          “Alright.  I’m sorry.”  I said, getting up and dusting myself off.  “Anyway, there is no need to spend any more time here.  I am fine.”

          “Night fell an hour ago, unfortunately.”  said Sean, frowning.  “We might as well make camp here.”

          I sighed.   I really did not want to sleep in a dark, dank cave.  “So travelling at night is a definite no?”

          Isaiah took a deep breath through his nose and started pacing again.

          “It’s risky…”  remarked Father, letting the idea hang in the air.  He uncrossed his arms and turned toward the entrance of the cave.  A sudden thought occurred to me.

          “Hey, why can we speak in here?  Aren’t we still in the Mistlands?”  I asked.

          “Look at the cave walls.”  said Sean.  I did, and saw little specks of pinkish-purple gems embedded in the limestone.  Miagra.  Soul crystals.  The Spektors couldn’t come close, lest the crystals absorb them.

          “Wow…”  I said, at a loss for words.  “Then why do we need someone to keep watch?”

          Sean chuckled.  “There are other things out there besides Spektors, Felicity.”  Isaiah sat down with a loud crash and a laugh.  He rested his arms on his knees and hung his head.

          “Maybe you should go to sleep and stop asking questions, sister.” he said after a few seconds, glancing up at me with a sneering expression.  Despite myself, I made a face at him.

          “Now now, there will be no sibling rivalry here.”  said Father jokingly.  He started unrolling his sleeping bag.  “Well then.  We wake before the sun rises.”

 

~*~

 

We emerged from the Mistlands by mid-morning the following day.  Not wanting a repeat of our little encounter with the Spektors yesterday, we hastened our pace a little.  Outside of the fog, the weather was warm and breezy.

          I looked up, shielding my eyes from the sun’s rays.  “Oh, it is wonderful to see the sky again!”  I exclaimed.  When I looked forward again I saw a very tall, steep, rocky hill before us.

          “We’ll have to take this slowly.”  said Father.  “We don’t want to strain our horses.”

          After about an hour of meticulous climbing, we made it to the top.  I patted Talia’s neck affectionately.

          “Good job, girl.”  I whispered into her ear.  “You can hold your own against these stallions.”  She whinnied proudly.

          “Lissy, look.”  said Isaiah, pointing below us.  I looked, and I saw the city.  It was beautiful.  The majestic castle, the Great Tree, the grand chapel--everything was intricately crafted and in pristine condition; gleaming in the sunlight.  It was an incredible sight to behold.

          I sighed.  “Beautiful.”  Was all I could say.

         

 



© 2012 Aianarie (INACTIVE)


Author's Note

Aianarie (INACTIVE)
I went through it and fixed all those --s that turn into "s. I might have missed some, though, so don't hold me to that. Enjoy. :-)

My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register




Featured Review

Oh the details, details. You are incredibly talented therein. I can see this scenes painted vividly in my mind, and yet, there is still some room for my imagination to fill in the gaps.

The scene within the mist was very entertaining. Good job there.

I can't wait to see what happens in the city. :)

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

i do not remember Chapters Two or one, of this, However i saw nothing Mechanically Wrong. Wonderful Chapter.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Great details and believable dialogue. I shall keep reading. :)

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

So, like, a year later I finally started reading. I'm very impressed and look forward to finishing the rest of it! I'm pretty much a scholar and i think it's very well written.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Oh the details, details. You are incredibly talented therein. I can see this scenes painted vividly in my mind, and yet, there is still some room for my imagination to fill in the gaps.

The scene within the mist was very entertaining. Good job there.

I can't wait to see what happens in the city. :)

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A very entertaining story. I like the characters and the situation. You give enough per chapter to keep the story strong. No weakness in this chapter. A excellent chapter.
Coyote

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

a wonderful and huge world you made up of full mysterises i love it it is amaizing great job keep up the good work i loved reading this ... and thanks for sharing this with me

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A huge world you made up full of mysteries, I love it. It's so different.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dear fragmented.dreams,

Pretty good. Make sure you don't infodump, as I see you have an extensive background for your settings. However, the stories were entertaining and I enjoyed learning about the Spektors. I liked the introduction of creatures in this broad world you have portrayed. In addition, I liked more customs like speaking only with your mind when crossing the Mistlands.

I find Sean's humor to be a bit awkward, but other than that I loved Isiah and Lissy's relationship. I loved the detail, pretty vivid.

Thank you for sharing.

Sincerely Livana Lowell (LL)

God bless

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

It has wonderful description and I can imagine things quite well. Can't wait for more.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

the part with the Spektors (cool name btw) was really exciting and fun to read!
I can't wait to see what happens next! I'm so hooked on this story!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

481 Views
11 Reviews
Rating
Added on March 16, 2012
Last Updated on March 16, 2012


Author

Aianarie (INACTIVE)
Aianarie (INACTIVE)

Eugene, OR



About
**IMPORTANT: This account is inactive. To keep up with me, A.M. Wied, follow me at the Facebook link below! Thank you for your support!** Hello~! My name is Ashley and I am a great many things, .. more..

Writing

Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..