A Chapter by Drakkell Sangster



Oh Alezand, if only the others knew what has befallen this plane. We’ve been plagued by lies my friend.

Elena arrived, anxious yet determined. Beautiful wildflowers invaded the ruined stone cathedral which even in its state was a grand spectacle. One half a mass of white rubble littering what used to be the courtyard, now overrun by foliage. The other half a mostly still standing tower with half its spire remaining. Inside the open half she could see most of the pillars still standing, intricate designs etched onto the astragals. Most importantly at the Altar in the center was an Exile, Orobis. It lay dormant on one knee with a halberd carved from solid stone in its hand, its body fully plated with a degraded yet ornate armor. An unorthodox helmet with a crown-like top covered its whole face, seemingly attached to him and various vines and plants latched around his body to reach the sun.

She looked across the rolling plains for a moment, the evening sky throwing beams of orange light across the ground and through the stained glass windows of the cathedral. The colossus of stone was still, unresponsive. She studied the pitiful sight, the longer she stared the more disturbed she felt. Any sane person would stay as far away from here as possible but she had the gall to return. She reached into her leather satchel and pulled out a vial and circular paper seals from a pouch. From under her long coat she drew her straight sword and placed the blade gently on the warm cobblestone. Inside the vial was a fine crystal like powder which she began to pour onto the sword starting at the hilt, meticulously moving her way up to the tip of the blade.

“Luveris Un” She chanted.

The white grains dissolved in a small splash of light looking almost red in the early evening sky and by the time she was done the sword took on a subtle white glow. She tossed the vial aside and started towards the crouched warrior with a careful eye, blade drawn. There was no response from the creature. It seemed almost a part of the architecture, a lifeless statue. A moment of concern crossed her face as her arm reached out to touch its shoulder, cold as it was rugged. Her eyes met the featureless helm trying to find life somewhere within its nothingness. A shard of hope, a sign of remembrance. She felt she could dive into its memories and see the truth beyond, just within her grasp. But the colossal warrior began to shift and come alive, dirt and shrubbery being shaken off by its heavy plated arms and legs, vines and roots torn by its extension. Elena reflexively hopped back onto her toes, assuming a defensive stance, waiting. It rose on two legs, towering several feet over Elena now properly wielding its massive axe in one hand, bits of rock crumbling from the old armor.

“Orobis, listen to me.” She said with caution.

“I just need to ask you something.”

Without regard for her words Orobis charged at her with an profound sense of hostility, its axe pointing right at her. What was she doing? It was futile to converse with an Exile. At least that’s what everyone believes. She dodged to the side but Orobis pivoted with an upward slash that almost connected followed by an aggressive flurry of quick strikes. Elena focused on the axe head, tracking it with her keen eyes allowing her to dodge just in time. Another quick set of strikes came at her which she skillfully dodged but a fist came from her side, catching her off guard and a powerful blow to her ribs knocked her back several feet taking her breath away. A surge of pain and numbness flowed through her body but she stood tall, vigilant, letting out heavy breaths to get over the pain but before she could plan her next move Orobis was charging at her again with malicious intent. Adriyel’s might that creature was fast! She thought. A swift strike came down at her and the fatigued Elena dodged and leapt backwards. She’d have to keep her distance. The length of its halberd was dangerously long.

“Tell me what they did to you. Why’d they banish you? Why’d they kill you?”

The towering creature did not heed and again charged with an unfathomable anger.

She cursed.


As the chant rolled from her lips she could feel a tense excitement in her legs. Elkhest surging through, her muscles longed to move as she began to dodge quicker than before, autumn hair flying about, glowing white sword drawn, now looking for an opening. She had this command ready for some time now and it felt good to release it. It had been prepared overnight, as most Sayrs do. Vicious strikes came from the rock halberd, some smashing furniture but none ever connecting with Elena. She managed to sneak in quick thrusts to its joints but her blade was useless against the stone material even with the hexing infusion. She had to try something. Elena waited a moment longer and seized her opportunity.

Orobis let out a powerful sweep with its weapon leaving him wide open as Elena sprinted towards its chest with altered legs with the paper seal drawn. She used its knee as a step to launch herself over Orobis, slapping the seal onto the back of its head. As she landed she spun with haste and her blade thrust deep into the seal through the back of its plated helm. The front of its helm broke into shards of rock, revealing the skull with bits of muscle and skin still intact. Almost immediately the colossus’s movements seized, strands of thin light swam from its head all the way down to its stone feet and it dispersed through the cobblestone around her.

The creature lay still and the light settled as a heavy exhaustion flooded her body. She used too much Elkhest. Is that what it was? She couldn’t tell exactly where it had come from. Elena wobbled over to face the now immobile Orobis, face mangled and grotesque, blade through the bridge of its nose.

“The archives in High Soras, I found them.”

She said through weary breaths to the unresponsive exile, pain from her side still very present.

“I read them. I read the texts. Are they true? The Planes you searched for?”

There was a silence, a desire Elena yearned for and Orobis looked up at Elena with what she assumed was hope and the creature’s massive head dropped again.

“Yes. I have been there.” It bellowed with a disembodied voice.

“Truth of myth.”

The voice stunned her so much so she thought she might have freed him from the clutches of the White Cathedral.

“What is the Helix Arc? Are you awake? What happened to High Soras all those years ago?” Her voice frantic.

“Where..?” She trailed off, staring at the large stone figure.

She drew her sword from its head and took one last long glance at the miserable creature, once man, alone and distressed because of her. Guilty, she turned to leave the crumbled cathedral wishing that it had been her and not him.

Jefren’s mind was fixated on the blade, his etcher carving the intricate signs required for a Sayrs’ willful command. The blade sat in a shallow pan filled with pure water, or, at least as pure as he could afford. He’d need to buy more. Gauron said it allows their tools to write through the metal like a hot rod through soft ice. The sharp point slowly tore through the fuller of the blade spurting behind hot water and bits of steel, dissolving instantly. To him it felt more like a stick through water, effortless. He never enjoyed the work like Gauron but the results were remarkable. Jefren paused and set the etcher aside to inspect the results. Marvelous etchings in the old Aylon words that read 'Here lies the essence.’ went halfway up the fuller, red around the marks.. Swordscribing was sort of a lost art, no one was particularly skilled at it anymore. Except for him and Gauron.

He reached up to the shelf above and grabbed a concoction with a large rock and various plants in a large jar. He popped off the lid and gently poured a thin coat of the liquid across the etchings, smoke and a light fragrance of  herbs filled the room and the carved words took on a white glow. The pure water began to dissolve and he could feel changes in his surroundings, an invisible force driving into the markings, bringing something special into the piece of metal. A power he could not fathom. All his senses felt enhanced as a calm ephemeral pleasure overtook him until he realized all was still, the smoke and lights were gone and he was left with a normal blade, his etchings gone but not removed. It required a Sayr to bring forth the power he had only witnessed. Now it was just another worthless sword about to be handed off to some presumptuous warrior who will disregard all his hard work.

He mused over the thought, his brow frowning. What a waste. All of them are useless, they should inscribe their own blades.

“So pointless.” He grumbled.

“You’re upset.” A frail voice came from behind that about made him jump from his seat.

“Illiya,” He said. “You almost made my heart jump from my stomach!”

“Your heart’s in your stomach?” She asked.

Jefren smiled and turned towards the small girl.

“Oh, no it’s up-”

He stopped as he noticed the long, glossy bar of metal in her hands. She smiled with accomplishment, knowing Jefren’s desire for it.

“Is that what I think it is?”

Her small but intense grin deepened.

Jefren reached his arm out with a quick motion and she happily handed over the exquisite piece of metal, its smooth touch cold to his skin. Chronium. A  Only a few people in Oros had this metal- No, knew of this metal. A true relic to swordscribing it was harder and less malleable than steel or iron. The most important part however was its relation to Elkhest, the perfect metal for a swordscribe. This was the last ingredient he needed to scribe Elena’s new blade and she’ll be the first Sayr in hundreds of years with two inscribed blades. One from Itherwyn and one from Adencia. The thought of his sister owning both made him want to start right away. He wrapped it in a soft cloth and gently placed it aside his freshly ascribed blade. The chronium looked more polished than his ascribed one, even in its raw state. A strange frustration made his brow frown.

“How...where did you get this Illiya? I hope no one saw you. If Gauron doesn't-

“Gauron is the one who got it for you!.” She said with a smile, playing with the white locks falling from her messy bun of hair.

Her small frame suited her happy-go-lucky attitude, as would any little girl, except for the fact that she could defeat him soundly in any kind of sparring.

“Well, I guess I’ll have to ask him then huh?” Jefren looked back at where Illiya came through as the small girl began unpacking the rest of the goods she had brought in. Presumably from the Iron Traders.

“When will Gauron buy us a real home? How long have we been staying here?” She asked.

“Almost a year I believe but Gauron’s arrears are holding him back and frankly even if he paid the Braylons back we wouldn’t even be able to afford a nook in an alley.”

Illiya gave Jefren a funny look.

“Why would we live in an alley?”

Jefren chuckled.

“It was supposed to be a joke.”

“It wasn’t funny.” Illiya said, sorting through packaged meals. Her favorite southeastern meatpies were included as well. Gross.

“No I suppose it wasn’t, nevertheless it’s true. We’re lucky to be able to live here for free.”

Jefren thought about the bind the three had been in the past year. Stuck between paying the Iron Traders, the Braylons and being scrutinized by the Sayrs constantly for falling behind on quotas and Oros only knows what else Gauron has going on. He even had to sell his home in the city and turn his small shop into the later. He sighed as he rubbed his eyes. He had promised to be on his feet within two months. Two turned into four and four into eight. Soon he’d never be able to leave Itherwyn, yet alone the Narivarele.

And Elena still hadn’t returned.

He looked down at the chronium and its beautiful cut. His reflection was all too visible in the metal. The shaved sides of his head and face were glossy with sweat. The top of his head frazzled with unkempt umber-black hair and a deep frown hovering over umber eyes. With all his debts and people watching his every move he still managed to get a huge bar of chronium. Intact, flawless. If the Sayrs were to find this...

“Illiya did anyone see you with this ingot?”

She pondered a moment. Still unpacking and organizing.

“Mmm, no. Except for the man who gave it to Gauron and I.”

“Who was it?” Jefren asked curiously.

“I dunno. Gauron wouldn’t let me in the room during the exchange.”


“Yeah! That’s what Gauron called it.”

“And what was he exchanging for a massive bar of chronium?”

“I...I don’t know. He didn’t have anything when we went there.”

Jefren sat trying to piece together what Gauron was planning. They were in debt, eyes all over Itherwyn viciously watched them waiting for one single slip up. What was that man up to?

And his sister...Where was she?

The fall of night seemed much heavier away from High Soras or Itherwyn. There was a bleakness, a darkness that seemed to sap the courage from her very bones, though she’d been out here before it felt much worse than usual. Elena leaned, arms crossed against a lamp post, a weak light against the backdrop of black, watching the grim people sloth through the Keep. As she studied with tired eyes it seemed most people were consumed by the dark, their minds distort and rot, shells of men. These keeps, usually isolated in strategic positions were built with intense fortification. This particular keep was on the Eastrange, the strip of keeps closest to Exile sightings.

“My, you really stand out in a place like this, you look worn.” A muffled, masked voice approached from behind, raspy and low. He wore a wide brimmed hat with a traditional long coat, except his was tattered.

“It makes it that much easier to find me right? And I’ll explain later, let’s go inside, the sight out here depresses me.” Elena turned and headed toward the bar without regard for her accomplice. Nolan. It had to be him of all people to tell this to but she knew she had little options.

The keep was dimly illuminated, thick mossy towers were connected by a fortified wall. A typical keep to fend off Exiles. Most keeps only housed the people passing through though this poor fleeting heap of stone had people working here. Living here. She shuddered, moving faster inside to escape the night. She entered to a rundown taproom, the tender with the same bleakness as the others she had seen. A resident she thought. Why not just leave? What was stopping them? She scanned the dank room searching for a table that was still functional. A few foul looking individuals sat, grimace on their faces. Elena wondered what they could possibly be doing here. They probably wondered the same thing about Nolan and her.

She found a somewhat suitable booth and relaxed her still aching body. her muscles not forgetting the blow from earlier that day, she thought a rib or two was broken but it would just bruise. Next time she wouldn’t be so brazen to fight that thing. She took deep breaths letting the blood and elkhest do its job.

Nolan sat stiffly across from her, examining his surroundings, as any Transferrer would do. All they want is information. And...more information. Although Nolan was more eccentric than any Transferrer she’s met. She sighed deeply.

“You were right. The planes, I believe, could exist.” She said, sounding exasperated.

Though he wore his silver mask she could sense his unyielding eagerness to about jump out of his seat.

“I went back to see the exile at the White Cathedral. It spoke to me Nolan, it actually spoke. I asked it about the archives and if other planes really existed.”

“Mother’s embrace...” He whispered then paused.

“What did it say to you?” Suddenly excited.

“It spoke the word yes. Firmly and clear.”

She didn’t want to mention the other bit Orobis had said. I have been there. Truth of myth. It was best to keep it most of this to herself. For now.

Nolan sat back in his chair in a stupor and leaned forward almost instantly. His mask inches from her face. From this distance she could make out the intricate designs swirling around were chants in the Aylon language.

“Elena do you know what this means? We’ve been trying to uncover this for hundreds of years. No one person has uncovered as much as you have in mere months. This... this is unprecedented! An exile speaking? Responding to questions? The scribes can’t even agree on whether this plane is natural or not.”

“That’s not the only thing Nolan. There’s this.”

She pulled out a metal sphere from her satchel, a seam going through from halve to halve and three small holes going to the center. From inside the holes a faint blue-white glow emitted. She let Nolan see it for a moment and hid it away again.

He sat back slowly but when a man’s face is covered it’s so hard to tell what he’s feeling.

“When we uncovered the Soras Archives I found this, it was the only item that I could find. I sent it off to a Kruosemer to identify it but within those six months he could only find the name. It’s a Helix Arc. But I can’t figure out what it does.”

“Incredible.” He said with amusement.

“What are we dealing with here! Mother's embrace we have our hands full, ha! The Echopal is near! Wait until the other Telisans hear about this.”

She frowned as she looked up at him.

“What? Are you not going to tell them? Elena. This is the missing piece to this plane that we’ve been searching for. You have found the key.”

“No.” She interjected.

“No, if people start hearing about this it’ll create too much controversy. Surrounding the Telisans, High Soras, the Council and especially me. We stay quiet until we know what we’re looking at. At least until we understand enough.”

She felt there wasn’t enough time to understand everything. Not as much as she desired.

“Elena, why are we here?” He cut in, sounding annoyed.

“I understand your findings but why are we here? This is hardly the place to be quiet as you put it. I wager there are ears in the floor and scribes in the walls recording everything you’ve shared with me.”

“And I’d hope you’d eradicate said ears and scribes before we even set foot in here.” Elena said.

“Unfortunately I don’t see anyone in here worth killing.” He said grimly.

“Except for maybe you.”

“I’ll try and take that as a compliment. Oh, and we’re here because Urisulle is coming.” She replied.

Again, Nolan sat back but this time more dramatic.

“Of course she is. We might as well have invited a shellgoblin. And are you going to tell her what you did? She won’t like it.”

“I’ll have too. It’s her decision or not to help us but if she doesn’t I have no idea what we’ll do. Without her I may as well be chasing the sky.” She said.

Nolan sat stiffly for a moment, then began to hum.

“You know, five years ago I would have you executed for the things you’re doing, yet alone revoking your abilities. I still could.” Nolan said.

“I can’t help but wonder what you’ll do even if you succeed in your...endeavors. The whole continent will be after you. Be it to kill you, capture you, collect a bounty, use you or hire you. It’ll be a damned mess for you Elena.”

She couldn’t help but smile.

“You almost seem worried.”

“Worried? About you? Not in the slightest. I’m worried about what you’re going to turn this plane into. Or what’ll happen when you’re gone.” He said.

“Yeah, me too.” Elena replied, pondering the day’s events.

Hours passed, Elena couldn’t help but buy a drink for it was far too boring to just sit. Fortunately for her Nolan, as a Transferer couldn’t drink alcohol and they were in a province where women could drink. They sat in wait, the people of Blackhahl slothing in and out. Tired laborers and weary soldiers, gamblers and travelers. A few even played card games, probably Knight’s Jest. She’d watched colleagues play the game dozens of times but never cared to understand it.  At last emerging from behind the somber lot stood a tall woman in her typical, decorative leather gear covering her mesh undergarment. Her dark hair was left long and she flashily wore her white and blue cape signifying her allegiance with the High Soras Telisans. The fact that she wore it so blatantly was testament to her devotion. Her enticing rosey face met Elena’s table as she walked over with elegance.

“And there’s our former leader. Still a shambag I see.” Nolan said.

Eyes from all around the taproom fell upon the three as anyone could recognize Urisulle along with Nolan and Elena. Some left, some whispered about the rumors and tales of the Telisans.

“Elena my dear, it’s been far too long. And you Nolan,” She gave him a scowl followed by a sly grin. “A pleasure.”

“Oh no. The pleasure’s all hers.”  Nolan said, nodding to Elena.

Urisulle didn’t respond yet took a seat, looking at Elena with deep blue eyes. She crossed her legs and rested her chin on her clasped hands.

“So, I assume we’re not here on social business, what brings us to the grotesque edge of this continent?” She said in her almost fancy Trythian accent.

“Have you ever heard of a Helix Arc Uriseulle?” Elena asked.

“Oh. My, I didn’t expect you to ask that of all things. I’ve heard of them but their origin and purpose are extremely unclear. It’s another mystery that we don’t seem capable of comprehending, that’s to say if they even exist anymore. Why my dear?”

Elena swiftly grabbed the sphere from her satchel and set it on Urisulle’s lap. Immediately Urisulle hovered her hand over it and chanted under her breath as the sphere vanished in a small splash of light.

“Where did you get this? I’ve never seen anything like this.”

”In this plane, Urisulle.” Nolan said flatly.

Again Urisulle gave the masked man a scowl.

“You’ll be surprised,” Elena about whispered, leaning in slightly. “it was in the Soras Archives, the ones Berran and his excavators found. It’s made from an element my Elkhest can’t determine. I need you to figure out its purpose.”

“My, those dusty bookcases really did hide a piece of the puzzle. I feel you’re onto something out of our realm of current knowledge though I’ll do what I can, you-” She cut off, studying Elena.

“Why do you look so worn?”

Elena felt a slight guilt wash over her.

“I returned to the Cathedral and tested the seals, they work. I immobilized the Cathedral Knight and gained information about the planes, we-”

“You, what?” Urisulle asked in shock.

“Urisulle, this-”

“No,” she interrupted turning to Nolan. Concern written all over her graceful face.

“And what do you know about this? Did she inform you as well?” She asked. She didn’t wait for his reply.

“Elena, do you understand the sheer magnitude of your situation? Our situation? Oh mother’s embrace Elena, you can’t even set foot in a major province anymore. What’s gotten into you?” Her elegant voice slipped to a disappointed tone.

Elena sat, feeling the guilt overcome her again. She didn’t know what to say.

“Do you just not care anymore? Is this all about you? Are we second to your goals?” Urisulle asked softly. Elena couldn’t ignore the pain in her voice.

“I-” The right words were nowhere to be found. There were no right words.

Urisulle stood with a long sigh.

“I know it’s been hard. But you can’t do this to yourself, or us. We can’t protect you forever and you know that. Things are going to get much more difficult now. I’ll take this relic to some people. Maybe they can figure it out, but if you keep going down this reckless path I can’t assist you anymore, Telisan or not. I’ll contact you soon, but Oros behold if more things turn up from you I won’t even bother giving it back.” She left the booth without another word and exited the building. As she left the murmuring of the taproom picked up again.

“Well, that went better than expected." Nolan jested.

“What do you need me to do?”

Elena sat for a moment, glad that Urisulle had accepted but upset she couldn’t explain the rest to her. Conversing with Urisulle was like conversing with the sea. Unyielding and intimidating. Her words were always like waves crashing over her, leaving her breathless. What she had said made her stomach churn. Is this all about you?

No, of course not. It was about them. Jefren, her friends and colleagues. She had to do this for them because who else would?

“Elena?” Nolan asked.

At last she perked up.

“I need you to relay a message to Gauron and my brother.” She said.

Nolan mused for a moment.

“Mmm, the old man? It’s been a while since you’ve brought that name up. One of the last Swordscribes, he might know a thing or two about the situation. ” Nolan said, continuing to ponder.

“I’d rather not involve him. He’s dealing with enough already.”

Elena rubbed her forehead thinking about what her next move should be.

She’d need to hire a Kruosemer.

And return to the Cathedral once more.

The High Towers surrounded Jefren on all sides. Even though he was born here he could never really understand how the pillars stood so high. They seemed to sway in the wind at the very top, reason enough never to touch those balconies but always to his surprise he found children and elderly alike leaning against the stone railing mingling. He watched for a moment, assuming they were talking about how grand the view is and the tickles they must be getting in their stomachs. He felt it in his already. A nudge from behind sent his view to the towers to the small girl behind him.

“What’re you spacing out for?” Illiya asked with a frown.

“You’re so easily distracted.”

Jefren smiled and kept moving through the market district. For an eleven year old girl she was far too observant.

The marketplace during the Cold summer was typically a boom. The crisp air against the hot sun brought perfect skies for merchants. It was Jefren’s ideal weather and most people of Itherwyn enjoyed the cool warmth. Stalls and tents littered the sidewalks, traders and merchants called out to potential customers, lines gathered at the popular stands and of course beggars and children went by looking for anything they could steal or salvage. Not every province had the luxury of a marketplace. Most provinces relied on the Iron Traders for goods.

Signets of Tarrenleaf, High Soras, and even Tryth were worn by the diverse people of Itherwyn, a Free City of sorts, creating an economy that thrives even without the traders. It wasn’t much of a ‘place’ though, it wounded up wide stone paths curving behind the wealthier buildings and went from end to end of the city. Jefren squinted against the light, looking into alleyways, Kear was one to move his shop around to attract new customers, and he never did tell where he was going to set up shop next. Illiya trailed not too far behind, her large white eyes watching the commerce with curiosity.

“Boy, over here.”

Jefren found the source of the voice instantly. Kear sat on a wooden rocker in the shade beside his tent of goods. The old man seemed brittle but had a small fortune of wealth within his small tent. Jefren and his small companion approached.

“No Gauron today, eh?” He said with a lisp, mouthful of teeth missing.

“He’s out for the week. I’m here in his place.” Jefren said handing the man a silver crescent. The man gave him a flat stare.

“It’s two crescents this month. The silver distributors are running us dry.” Kear said grinning.

Jefren sighed reaching into his pouch for another crescent when Illiya grabbed his arm looking Kear dead in the eyes.

“My that is an intense look. I’d be careful who you look at like that young one. He said with a toothy smile.

“Don’t worry about it.” Jefren said handing the man a second crescent. He wanted to give him a piece of his mind but he knew it wouldn’t be wise.

Satisfied, he rose slowly from the rocker waving a hand over his wares. Illiya still gave the man a nasty glare so Jefren nudged her and shook his head.

“It’s fine.” He whispered to her.

“So little swordscribe what are you looking for today?” Kear said.

Jefren ignored the man, examining the tools and ores he had placed randomly across a rug, some raw, some ingots. No mere merchant could acquire ingots of iron without having strong connections or pure water without knowing Sayrs out East, making him a special vendor. Jefren picked up the pure water analyzing it. The water was clear as glass, as pure water should be.

“How much salt is in this water?” Jefren asked.

“Zero percent lad.” Kear replied with a chuckle. “You can’t even get water that pure from the clouds.”

“So where’d you get it then?”

“Unfortunately I’m not obligated to answer that little swordscribe.”

Jefren turned towards the old man.

“Well, actually, you are. This purchase is under the jurisdiction of the Council of Sayrs, which I am a part of, not Gauron unfortunately.”

It felt strange showing authority to an elder although Jefren was right. He needed this water.

“So if you could tell me where you got this I might let you keep that second crescent.

The old man sat for a moment trying to call his bluff except this was no bluff. He grinned.

“Fine. Ever heard of Tryth? Of course you have. I doubt your little legs could make the journey anyways. Take this with you as well. A gift for Gauron.” He tossed Jefren a large unrefined rock.

“Quartz? For what? I’m no Kruosemer.” Jefren asked.

“No, but she is.” He nodded toward Illiya.

“Send Gauron my regards.” Kear said with his sly smile as the duo departed the stand.

The streets of Itherwyn still bustled even as the sun began to fall behind the jagged cliffs to the west. Jefren walked along the beaten stone paths watching Illiya skip along in front of him dodging people and jumping over obstacles, sporting her new haircut. Her hair grew abnormally fast, usually resulting in her just wearing a bun or ponytail but she enjoyed the shorter cuts which were in style. This time she chose a modern bob cut, but frankly any cut would look modern on her with her extraordinary pearl colored hair. Now it kept its form instead of creating a moppy white mess every time she moved.

He had always enjoyed walking through the alleys and the twisted walkways of Itherwyn, getting lost constantly as a child. Some walkways were elevated high above, went through carved rock and some underground. Elena had always been there to guide him back though. She had a knack for always knowing the right way, or the right time. One of several gifts his renowned sister had.

The path continued to snake downwards as the front of the city was the lowest point at about sea level. This particular path opened up to the southeastern courtyard and to one of three main gates to the city. Luckily and, well, unfortunately their shop-home was right outside the gate and he could see it and a few noticeable people out front.

“Jefren, why are they here?” Her voice serious.

He quickly turned to her and rested an arm on her shoulder.

“Hold on, just be calm and let’s go listen.”

Looking carefully he could actually see Gauron there in his red and black robes, balding head and white beard which was reassuring but it didn't seem like he was having a fond conversation. The other three looked like Sayrs. Feeling a sense of urgency he began to run over, Illiya of course joining him. Gauron easily noticed them from afar but turned back to his conversation. Before the others could hear them galloping towards them he slowed to a light walk to not hinder the talking. Illiya wanted to keep moving but his hand stopped her from going any further.

“I’m telling you Krauss he’s a fool. A damned fool. He’ll run us dry at this rate, we can’t afford it!” One man croaked.

“Where else can you find a swordscribe then Elas? Do you have one hiding up in the Gold Keep? He’s valuable.” Another said. This voice firm but unenthusiastic.

“Valuable? You’re mad. Almost as mad as he.” Elas waved a hand towards Gauron and began to storm off.

“Elas don’t go anywhere.” A booming helmeted voice said. He recognized it immediately. Krauss Alajanis. And the other two, Elas and one of the Citadel’s Sayr dogs Hubinn. Jefren knew him from the Council but he dealt with supply management he believed. Why was he here? Hopefully he wouldn’t know Jefren’s name. Congregating with Elena while serving a role in the Council was a delicate position at this point in time. And Illiya…

Jefren glanced at the girl, white eyes flustered with anger looking towards Krauss.

“We still have business with this man.” Krauss bellowed.

“I’ll ask you again, where is she?”

“You’re being irrational.” Gauron said.

“Irrational?” Krauss said.

He sat a moment then took off his helmet and looked into Gauron’s eyes. A stare that said you dare defy me? In mere seconds his fist was plowing into his face, throwing Gauron several feet as his body collapsed into the ground.

“Gauron!” Illiya cried, sprinting over to the unconscious man. She crouched over him like a frightened cat, protecting his body.

“Illiya, wait!” Jefren took a step forward.

“Don’t. You. Move. Little swordscribe.” Krauss said callously. He looked over at Jefren with a cold expression, expecting something.

“Where is your sister?” He asked.

“I-she’s...been away for weeks. I don’t know where she is!”

“Elas.” Krauss said.

The croaking man walked over to Jefren sighing lightly.

“I’m sorry but the Council has had enough of her games and want their toys back. Where is she and what is she doing? And please lie to me.” Krauss asked, annoyed.

“She was on a mission for the Telisans! She left to High Soras about a month ago-”

“I don’t care about a month ago! Where is she now? Right now? Elas!” Krauss screamed, interrupting Jefren.

Elas kneed Jefren square in the gut, knocking the wind out of him, sending him to his knees.

“Stop!” Illiya yelled.

Squinting through the pain Jefren could see Illiya’s eyes going to that beautiful bright violet. Krauss looked to her with a scowl. No, leave her alone.

“White Pragym, it’s been some time.” Krauss said coldy to her.

Illiya said nothing as she stared Krauss down with a dangerous gaze.

“Your sister,” Krauss said taking a few steps towards Jefren and drawing his infused blade.

“She’s been ordered by the Council to have her abilities revoked. And guess what? She blatantly disobeyed the Electorals of Sayrs, spat in the face of the Grand Sayr and all his acolytes and is wandering the plane as if she owns the damned place! The fact that she isn’t here right now is proof of her arrogance and insubordination! She is the epitome of a rogue Sayr, a selfish vagabond and I will not hesitate to do what it takes to put an end to her foolishness!” His voice boomed, anger in his eyes.

“If you, Gauron or this little wormling girl don’t cooperate the Council has every right to have you thrown in prison, or executed! Am I understood?”

“Leave.” Illiya said coldly.

“Leave, now.”

Krauss turned towards her, a dark look on his face. He moved a few steps closer to her, Illiya still crouched over Gauron’s body.

“You’re an anomaly, girl.” Krauss snorted. Pointing at her with his blade.

“I handed you over because I thought you would die. Yet here you are seemingly stronger than before. That infuriates me beyond belief.”

“Just leave her be-”

“Shut up boy!” Krauss spat at Jefren.

What was happening? Why was Elena being hunted? The Council was going to revoke her powers? No, no that couldn’t happen, not her. He rose from his knees trying to move to Illiya.

“Woah there, no interfering.” Elas said.

Jefren stared at the man for a moment.

“To the void with you.” He whispered trying to keep moving.

“What?” Elas grunted.

A fist clobbered into Jefren’s face, then into his gut still flaring with pain from the kick and a final punch to his cheek sent his body fumbling to the ground. His arms tried to hold him up but he couldn’t find the strength.

“Don’t you ever say nonsense like that to me!” Elas yelled.

“Elas, be still.” Hubbin said in his boring voice.

He turned to Hubbin with a scowl ready to rebuttal until he noticed a small dagger had been thrusted into his gut from a small girl with violet eyes.

“No..” Jefren groaned, closing his eyes.

“Elas!” Hubbin roared charging Illiya.

Krauss stormed, sprinting towards Illiya. She threw the wounded body of Elas at Hubbin who reluctantly caught him and went crashing to the ground as she dashed up with a bloodied dagger ready to strike Krauss who swung right at Illiya’s head. There was a look of absolute rage on Illiya’s face and one of disgust on Krauss’s.

“Illiya stop! Jefren shouted with what stamina he could muster.

He could feel his body going numb. No!

A black figure moved in between Illiya and Krauss. The figure caught Illiya’s arm mid thrust and slammed her to the ground and barely ducked the swing of Krauss.

“Deslorys.” He chanted sharply, tapping Krauss’s wrist as he seemed to forcefully let go his weapon which went soaring from the momentum of the swing.

Nolan stood up assuming a natural stance, looking around.

“What is the meaning of all this?” He asked.

“You are interfering, Transferrer!” Krauss said, regaining his composure.

“Yes. I am. You’re overstepping your boundaries and I have business with these people.”

Krauss snorted.

“And what of my poor Elas? That little girl almost killed my Cleric!

“And be glad she didn’t. You of all people  know how unstable she is.” Nolan said.

“To the void with the Telisans.” Hubbin whispered with revulsion, picking up Elas’s body.

“You don’t care for that girl, or this sorry lot. You’re just the Council’s lapdog.”

“If I’m a lapdog then what does that make you? Cattle sent to slaughter?”

Krauss chuckled which turned into a maniacal laugh.

“The Council will hear of this. Yes, once they find Elena this silly nonsense will be over with.”                            Krauss said, furious. He gave one last glance at Illiya, eyes still violet staring at Krauss with intent to kill as he threw the body of Elas over his shoulder and stomped off.

Nolan looked over his shoulder to Jefren who still lie on his side struggling to stay conscious.

“Can we...go somewhere and chat?” Nolan asked nonchalantly.

“Elena needs to see you. And the old man.”


Halite and Quartz

I alone write this message as the souls of my colleagues are being ingested by whatever it is we found here. Alezand please, whatever Adriyel went out searching for it’s ruined him and the rest.

The sun had finally begun set behind the Myryn plains. Evenings were becoming darker, more sinister, carrying a heavy air with it as the wave of dark overtook the surroundings. She had been meditating since her carriage had dropped her off a few hours ago, a long nap made the day’s ride here from Blackhahl somewhat relaxing. Meditating was difficult for her, every Sayr did it but she found it distracting. Her mind just wanted to wander and create something from the shades of nothingness behind her eyelids. She wanted to reach in and pull out whatever manifested within. She wanted to find purpose. Truth of Myth.

Her eyes snapped open. Footsteps rounded the side of the cathedral, breaking whatever concentration she had. Hand on hilt, legs crossed, the footsteps came closer. Very few people wandered the area without reason, especially this late into the day. Thoughts of assassins, Exiles, or worse, Exiles in the form of a human, playing games of deceit and pretty lies. As her mind wandered the footsteps soon presented a man, in all black approaching with a light step. His dark garb complimented the depressing colors of the cathedral, dull and uncared for except for the necklace of rocks around his neck. Each one a different palette of rich colors sometimes glinting against the lantern light, she could at least tell he wore quartz, halite, amethyst and turquoise, some of the more common stones used in Kruosemy.

“A calm night, is it not?” The dark man said with a smile, looking up into the stars.

“They say beyond the clouds darkness like this extends into nothingness, even the flow of Elkhest ceases, rendering a void where physical elements cannot exist. What do you think of such ideas?”

She glanced over at the man, still peering up into the sky. She sighed.

“It’d be ridiculous to think Elkhest could be overtaken by this darkness. I’d argue the darkness is a byproduct of Elkhest.”

The dark man idly nodded his head.

“An interesting perception. Although there can’t be a void like that because look.”

He pointed out to the sky and looked at Elena with his eager smile.

“There’s something out there fair Telisan. Those dots of lights. Mean something more to me than what even Adriyel the Light said. No being has broken through that which isn’t seen that we know of. I believe what we’ve been doing these past few years will someday bring us there. I hope to see it one day.”

Elena pondered for a moment, watching the beautiful stones swim with light.

“What do you expect to find there?” She asked.

Somehow the man’s smile grew.

“I have no idea fair Telisan. But we don’t have much time for ideas as such tonight.”

Elena had almost forgotten why she came back here. Again.

“Right, follow me Dergo.”

He bowed, his parted black hair dropping slightly to his forehead. Kruosemers were a polite bunch, as strange as they were. The two walked a short distance to the other side of the cathedral of which only half still stood. The other half exposed the interior; rubble lying about as nature overtook the stone. At the center of the altar of course was Orobis. The Exile Elena had fought, twice now.

She shook her head at her own foolishness, one mistake and she would have died and for what? A few clues? A few garbled words that could mean nothing?

Dergo’s pace increased as they approached the now immobile Exile. The seal remained on the back of its helm, a thin hole going all the way through from the blade.

“My, oh my, oh my.”

He could barely contain his excitement as he placed a firm palm onto its arm. He walked around the large creature a few times, examining the size, the color, its features; he hurriedly sketched it while jotting down several notes. Murmuring to himself every now and again.

“This is unprecedented Elena. You have captured an Exile. This…this is quite a feat!”

Dergo’s thin smile never ceased in his work though Elena couldn’t help her anxiousness. Would it awake? Was her command powerful enough? She remembered her fight with it as vividly as it happened. She had pierced its head through a Transference Seal, a Seal specifically made to kill Exiles, not immobilize them.

She rubbed her chin feeling incredibly uneasy. Was there another way to go about this? Over an hour had passed and all she could do was watch it, ready to attack. But she’d need this information for when she met with Gauron and Jefren in a few days. Her palms grew cold and glossed with sweat.

“Far Telisan, I have one request for our agreement.”

She looked over to him but he continued to work with an excited twitch.

“And what would that be?”

“That I be left alone for sometime. There are things that I...don’t want Sayrs to witness. I mean in no way to insult your status miss First Seat but I vow to not let my ancestors be seen.”

“Ancestors? What do you mean?”

“Please, Fair Telisan, I rather not speak on it. It’s just-”

“No, it’s fine.” She said. “You realize I’m your only protection here though right?”

“Oh, no need to worry, as I mentioned. My ancestors will be here with me.”

She sat for a moment, not that she was thinking about her answer, but that he stood a chance.

“Return in an hour. No more.”

Dergo didn’t respond as she left the Cathedral and headed out into the heavy night.

© 2018 Drakkell Sangster

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Added on October 19, 2017
Last Updated on August 7, 2018
Tags: fantasy, sci-fi, political, fiction, dark


Drakkell Sangster
Drakkell Sangster

Denver, CO

Writer, gamer, producer, creator. more..