It would be another hour before the sun rose. The castle was dark and still asleep, in spite of everything that had happened earlier only one found it hard to sleep.
Tyrus wandered the grounds absently, his mind still trying to cope with what was happening. She was half elf! It had been a thought he entertained off and on concerning her ability to even live here in Ao'lean, but he could not quite believe it now that it was true. How was it that Baelor couldn’t figure that out?
Slowly he made his way into the garden at the rear of the palace. High Lord Deimiyon had insisted they rest in the guest quarters. That silenced Daynel’s constant whining. His pace slowed as he followed the winding paths. Even the flowers seemed to be asleep as their heads were tightly shut, waiting for the sun. He walked over to a small circle of softly glowing white flowers, Caphony flowers, Tirin’s favorite. Their scent strong even while closed. She’s been gone not even a day and he felt like his heart was being wrenched from his chest. The idea that she was mistakenly kidnapped seemed too ridiculous to consider despite the facts. She would be found and brought back to where she belonged…with him.
Tyrus looked up at the sky, its inky darkness lightening on the very edge of the horizon.
He wasn’t cursed. That was what he wanted to tell her when he returned. It wasn’t a curse, but his heritage. His father’s bloodline was the cause of this. A talent passed through the males of his family, skipping a generation or two every now and then. With Tirin’s help it became more than just a bloodline ability. His father would have been able to tell him about it when he was younger if he had been able to return from the same mission that Baelor had lost his arm to.
Tyrus slowly made his way through the courtyard, his eyes unconsciously scanning ahead of him. Flickering torch light in the stable area made him pause for a second.
Who else could possibly be up?
The scent of Thesimier surprised him as he made his way over to the stables. Tirin’s horse was a shy smoke gray mare that usually refused to leave the property. Did she sense her mistress’ trouble? Tyrus paused at the opening and sighed when he saw Sire Baelor standing there talking softly to the horse.
Thesimier was lightly loaded with bags of what looked to be clothing.
The older elf must have been unable to sleep and in his unease he must have gone to retrieve Tirin’s horse.
“She’ll want these…” Baelor mumbled to himself before folding several items and adding them to the bags. The look on Baelor’s face caused Tyrus to feel guilty. Had he just stayed at the Comne he would have been able to prevent whatever might have happened, Tirin would still be here, safe.
Tyrus looked at his black nails, but then he would have never known that he no longer had to restrain his emotions, that his change was controllable, that he no longer had to hold himself back from expressing his true feeling. Not to Tirin…and definitely not to Darec. Now that she apparently remembered what had happened…she would not question his attitude toward the brat prince.
“Where were you?”
Tyrus looked up to find Baelor standing in front of him the look on his face blank. His eyes tired with worry and dark with the lack of sleep.
Guilt hit him hard as words refused to come quick enough. He found himself back in the Inner garden, approaching Darec and Tirin and saw them kiss. Anger replaced his guilt easily. She remembered what Darec had done, why did she kiss him?
Sire Baelor watched the younger elf’s face. What seemed to be concern slowly changed to something else.
“I am sorry for not being there for her, Sire.”
Baelor moved closer to the boy. “But what called you away?”
Tyrus’ violet eyes grew dark. “Anger.” He quickly walked off, back toward the sleeping quarters the sun now threatening over the horizon.
Several days north of Ao'lean found Malik and Tirin in the small Human kingdom of Kiten. They were grubby, filthy, exhausted, and as far as they knew, the only survivors of Dale’s small hunting party.
Randoll Norsmon watched when the two approached. He remembered how the boy, Malik, had dragged the poor girl into the gateway of the castle. Oh how irritated he had been. The boy ranted on about how she had caused the death of his cousin and the possible deaths of his friends. He kept saying that she had been nothing but bad luck since they rescued her. They had to past through the out skirts of Goblin territory and he was more than sure that she had done something to attract the attention of some of its inhabitants in the last leg of their journey home.
Malik didn’t want to have anything to do with her, but leaving her in the wild would have disappointed his supposedly deceased cousin so he brought her here. The both of them had come in looking like wild animals, but she was in worse shape due to the restraints he said were necessary. Malik had tied and gagged her with a material that caused a fever-inducing rash. The poor girl was rambling incoherently, but Malik didn’t care. The boy said it was to keep her from casting any demonic spells being that she was half elf. This bit of information mentioned with impeccable timing as Prince Sayer came out to see to the commotion in front of his home. Elves were a subject the Prince was enthralled with…for the moment. Therefore, without question the prince took the girl in.
That was four days ago. The prince has anxiously waited for this day since the girl’s arrival. A visitor was expected to come any moment. One that was maybe stranger than the girl. Prince Sayer couldn’t wait to show her off.
From the corner of his eye, Randoll watched the visitor approach the gate. For the longest Randoll had always suspected this man of being something he wasn’t. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but something about Master Gar seemed … artificial.
Randoll’s job consisted of his watching people, remembering details. This man, Gar, he just seemed too perfect. He was beautiful, like a woman, with a delicate, graceful way about him yet there was no way to mistake his masculinity.
Randoll coughed, he would never say that aloud. He was a guard for his majesty, not a judge on who was manly and who was not. But, Master Gar was one that a person could not ignore. Bright, clear, blue eyes that became icy when annoyed and he was always annoyed. Blonde hair that was more like spun gold than spun gold. A chiseled face that was somehow soft in its features and perfect alabaster skin that a woman of the most delicate nature would throw a jealous rage over. He was not a man of brawn, but one would think twice before trying him. Randoll watched as Master Gar passed him without so much as a smile or nod. As usual. The man was secretive, only speaking with Prince Sayer on whatever matter they discussed. No one knew how old he was, where he came from, or what he did in that room that all but Master Gar and his Majesty were forbidden to enter or even approach. Master Gar disappeared into the main courtyard and Randoll quickly returned to his job.
Gar practically floated down the hallway his thoughts consuming him as he passed people without realizing they were there. He was far from concerned with the ways of Humans. He slowed his pace, fed up with the likes of any race that found it a natural past time to gossip. He knew what was thought of him, how they felt when he passed them or even looked at him. He heard the petrified whispers of the servants and the guards. Their fear was well deserved and wanted. No, it was rare for a Human to possess the gift of magyk and still be sane. He had heard it all. That he had traded his soul or that he had none to start with. Gar almost smiled; he would give his eyeteeth to see the unified reaction of them all if they were to ever find out the truth.
Gar stood straight, his disgust with the young prince beyond toleration, but he was able to contain it. This was the only person who had the audacity to think himself equal to him. He turned to face the young prince.
Prince Sayer was a tall well-built Human male with smiling steel blue eyes that easily hid the intent of their owner. He had the face of a boy, encircled by curly, ink-black hair cut short to retain that ‘innocent’ look of a child. Still a boy by Elven standards, but far from it in Human’s as in less than a year Prince Sayer would become king.
“Yes. Prince Sayer.”
“Come with me, I have something to show you.” Quickly the Prince led the way down one of many hallways. “A boy brought me this girl---.”
“What you do with her is your own business, your majesty.” Gar grumbled.
“She’s delightfully savage, this girl.” Prince Sayer continued cheerfully ignoring his remark. “She’s been here for nearly a week now and still has the desire to fight.”
Gar remained indifferent as he followed the young monarch. “And this makes her interesting?”
Prince Sayer looked at him rather hurt. “Master Gar, I would think that you would be a little interested.” He rubbed his hands together as he stopped. “I think you will be anyway being that she was rescued from Ao'lean.”
“What?” Gar asked in startled confusion, shocked by the mere mention of the great Elven City. “Explain what you just said.”
Prince Sayer sighed. “My excitement mostly stems from your reaction when you see her, hear her.” He smiled broadly as he began walking again. “She is an enigma, one that promises hours of entertainment.”
“If you say so.” He rolled his eyes. “But can you make this quick I have things to do.”
The two walked down a series of corridors, passageways, and stairs. Finally they reached the dungeon area.
“I made a point for no one to come down this way save for one guard.” He grinned at Gar, more than impressed with himself. “The women here are such gossips and the men are superstitious. They’re about as scared of her as they are of you.”
“Really?” Gar jeered.
“Here we are.” Prince Sayer knocked on the door then put his ear to it and smiled.
Not a sound came from inside.
Gar raised an eyebrow in surprise. “You’ve named her already?”
“No, no, the boy that brought her here said that was her name.” Prince Sayer knocked on the door again then opened the small window located at eye level. “Tirin, love, you have com--.”
“Stop use my name you animal!” Her voice was sharp with insult and thick with an accent Gar didn’t think he would hear again.
“The boy had said that she couldn’t speak Human but he was apparently deceived...he also said she could do magyk…or something to that effect being half elf.”
“Half elf…are you sure?” Gar peered into the small room now interested. Elves were very selective with who they associated with if anyone, race-wise. All the major Elven cities were isolated away from other towns or cities of mixed races. All surrounded by walls and solely inhabited by Elves. But for one to have mated with someone not elven was rare. Sayer nodded then retold the story of how the boy, Malik and his friends came upon her.
Inside the slight movement of chains was heard. Through the dimness he could see her. Dressed in an old maid’s uniform that was maybe four sizes too big for her, she looked malnourished as the shoulders threatened to slide off of her petite frame.
Gar’s satchel suddenly began to move. He quickly pulled back trying to hide it from the Prince.
“Isn’t she neat?” Sayer rubbed his hairless chin. “I wonder if her parents were in love or if it was a violent conception.”
Gar gave him a worried look. “What does that matter?”
He grinned. “It doesn’t.” He shrugged. “I took the liberty of using that sipher you gave me. To keep her from casting any unnecessary spells.” The prince smiled arrogantly as Gar raised an eyebrow at his thinking him impressed.
Gar watched as the Prince turned and headed back down the hallway, what he was up to was anyone’s guess. As soon as the prince was gone Gar opened his satchel. His compendium was agitated and the girl had something to do with it.
He watched as the pages fluttered rapidly back and forth before stopping on an old spell he hadn’t worked on in years. The spell was missing only one major component. A dragon’s soul; an ingredient that was hard to come by because either dragons were no longer part of this world or because they has gone into their hundred-year slumber. Gar peeked through the small window and almost smiled as she stood there staring back at him. Part of him wanted to burst into laughter right then and there. If the girl had any magykal abilities, and with his book implying that she did, she would know that the sipher was a fake. He had created it to shut the prince up. But then that would mean that the girl knew about the sipher and he doubted the prince told her about it.
“Why am I so interest?” Tirin snapped.
“Interesting, child.” He watched her turn her back to him. “You cast a spell near the Goblin’s territory, they’re attracted to magyk. They didn’t teach you that in school?” The last he spoke in Elvish.
Tirin whirled about to face him. The light of the torches filtered into her cell somewhat illuminating her dirty brown face. Revealing her childish pout that he found surprisingly endearing.
“Oh I have many surprises, but that’s for another time.”
“Whatever.” Her look of surprise faded quickly before she headed back into the darkness of her dungeon.
“Don’t shrug me off just yet, lady. There are things about you that are intriguing, and Prince Sayer has his ways of getting the information he wants.”
All he received for his warning was the tinkling of her chains.
“Tirin…?” Gar pulled back a little as a growl floated out of the darkness. The timbre of her growl was very feral. Maybe too feral. “… are you really half elf and not half …animal?”
Tirin actually wanted to laugh at him, but a small part of her entertained the idea that could be possible. She had noticed the changes in herself every now and then. She looked at the strange blonde man from her dark corner, he couldn’t see her, but she could see him clearly. She could hear the hesitant steps of someone heading this way, could smell the alcohol on this new person’s breath. How many times had she shrugged off the idea that when she first forced Tyrus to revert that she had taken part of him and incorporated it into herself?
She hugged herself tightly. She would have time to think it through now.
Gar stopped talking. She wasn’t listening to a word he was saying anyway and he didn’t blame her. He hated to agree with the brat Prince she was definitely interesting. Memories filled his head as he peered into the dark cell, her eyes reflecting the torchlight like a cat. A human who may or may not be half elf, she definitely spoke like she belonged there. She was probably scared. That could be the only reason why she didn’t use magyk to get herself out. Not knowing where she was, using her abilities to get out of here would more than likely put her into more danger than she could handle. Gar looked at his book again. He had better get to investigating her before Sayer grew tired of her. He turned in time to see the morose Guard assigned to be her caretaker. He was a sad and depressing old man smelling highly of alcohol.
An Epic Fantasy
-WARNING!-This Is a rough draft! (That means typos and other editing issues will be found within!)
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