Author Topic: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Complete]  (Read 8572 times)

Offline LivvieLove

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Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Complete]
« on: April 04, 2016, 12:06:03 AM »
Risen From the Ashes
With a kingdom in ruins, three princes must face their fate.

Dragon Valley remains a quiet kingdom that has been ruled by the Glebaal line for 200 years. With the Glebaal's came security, prosperity, and general happiness amongst the many who called Dragon Valley home. 50 years ago, things began to change. It started when the temples to Agonin, the God of Order, and Quismat, the God of Fate, had been destroyed in a magical explosion that had no decipherable origin. King Tadian Glebaal spent months searching for the culprits who had caused such a massive act of terror, however after searching for so long while gaining no ground the King came to the startling realization: the act had been of divine origin.

A plague had settled on the once prosperous town, however the illness was not deadly, but instead caused the villagers voices to become much deeper than usual. The crops had started changing colors to unusually bright and repulsive colors, making them hard to sell to other neighboring kingdoms. Babes were born with mutations and defects. The kingdom was struggling greatly under the weight of all of the little issues that arose, and general unrest began to spread.

King Tadian, upon becoming aware of the divine upset there seemed to be, erected many temples in the years following. There had been temples placed for as many of the gods as they could think that might have been angry with them - and twice as many for the gods Agonin and Quismat, as their temples were the first symptom of the greater problem. King Tadian knew he was merely putting a bandage over a flesh wound, but he did not know what else could be done.

A few years after the last of the temples had been built things appeared to calm down, and peace resumed in the kingdom. The peace was timid at best, but King Tadian took whatever relief he could, as he had grown old and sick. Before he died, Tadian passed his crown down to his eldest son, Crown Prince Eglanor. King Eglanor married a woman from the neighboring kingdom of Galia, a kingdom that - in a thousand years - would be renamed France. Queen Araiel bore the King four children of noble blood: Galan, Finreth, Tuon, and Amet. Three noble princes and one dainty princess.

Prosperity had returned to the Kingdom, but it was not to last. A second plague fell upon the Kingdom - one that cost many lives with a high fatality rate, including the youngest child and princess of the royal Glebaal's. Amet was only six years of age when the plague took her life. Tensions only grew in the royal family after that day, and nothing would ever be the same again. Years of friendship amongst the three brothers ended in bitter rivalry - one which was only encouraged by their father. The boys grew quickly, each developing a personality of their own.

Crown Prince Galan, the eldest son, had followed in his father's footsteps to the best of his ability. He focused on his leadership skills and ensuring that he was capable of handling hard decisions. He was very skilled in battle and he was recognized and welcomed as a brother of the Knights Guard. Said to scorn the gods, he also had a sense of entitlement and he did not share the spotlight well with others. The death of Amet gave Galan the drive to push forward politically to "right" the world - it also gave him a sad story he utilizes almost daily to gain sympathy.


Prince Finreth, the middle son, was the son of secrets. He saw no interest in gaining the throne, or any titles associated with it. Finreth was skilled with a blade, however he lacked the brute strength his elder brother carried. Finreth was not a man of many words, and often spent most of his time listening. A rumor floated around of his artistic ability that he denied fully. After the death of Amet, Finreth became bitter and reclusive, containing himself entirely to his room whenever possible.


Prince Tuon, the youngest son, was the scholar of the children. Being frailer than his two brothers did him no favors in the battlefield, so Tuon honed his mind to a sharp point. His wisdom challenged many scholars who were decades his elder, and that got him a lot of respect amongst the people of the kingdom. For all of his wisdom and clarity, Tuon was timid and shy. He preferred books to people, and often did not feel comfortable handling confrontation. Despite this, Tuon continues to have a cheerful disposition. The death of Amet only caused Tuon to come out of his shell further and forced him to gain some courage.


The boys had just come of age for marriage, and King Eglanor could see the writing on the wall that the kingdom was very soon going to face a massive change - yet he could not tell how. Queen Araiel fell ill, catching a remaining strain of the second plague that had fallen on the kingdom. There was a shift in the wind that was foreshadowing a dark era to come and the roles that each of the sons of Eglanor would play in the turning of the age.

This is where our story begins.


Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part One]
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2016, 12:43:04 AM »
Part One
Be Careful What You Wish For

King Eglanor Glebaal looked out over the balcony at his kingdom and took in a calming breath.

He had been fair with his policies, however the kingdom seemed to be falling apart no matter how hard he tried to maintain it. Chaos was running rampant and many of his subjects had fled to the temples of Agonin so that he might hear them and restore order. At this point though, many felt like they were talking to a stone wall.

The sound of footsteps rang up stone passageway behind Eglanor, and a boy just barely at the cusp of adulthood poked his head onto the balcony. “You wished to see me, father?”
Eglanor motioned the boy forward, “come, Galan, stand with me and think.”

Galan hesitated, looking around with a flash of irritation in his eyes before he stepped forward and stood, looking to his father for an explanation. “What are we thinking about?”
Eglanor smiled gently, a wise smile. “The kingdom. A good king never stops thinking about his kingdom, Galan.”
Galan straightened and smiled suddenly at the mention of ‘king.’ “Of course father. I still have so much to learn before I become king.”
“A wise statement for one so young.” Eglanor spoke levelly. “Tell me though, what of your brothers? What will become of them?”
“If they are wise, they will allow me to step up without contention.” Galan looked forward as he spoke, feeling majestic.

Eglanor nodded thoughtfully, “what happens after you have taken the crown then?” He prodded.
Galan couldn’t resist lightly rolling his eyes, “they will receive titles, of course, and be encouraged to take care of their given lands. I will love them even better at a distance.”
“You see absolutely no use of them here?” It was a loaded question, based on his father’s tone. “No advising positions or military generals?”

“Surely you can’t be serious, father.” Galan eyed him skeptically. This was the man who told him to not allow his brother’s any chance to step over him for the throne. This was the same man who was purposefully harder on his two brothers to show the disparity between the three of them.
“Finreth has grown to become a very talented fighter while you’ve had your eye focused forward. He’s considered the best at strategy and logistics.” The king eyed his son and then looked forward, “Tuon is growing smarter every day. He’s the most well-read out of you three. He’s also gaining a foothold with the people for being so polite. He can outwit half the scholars in the world, and wit is as sharp as a sword, Galan.” He went back to giving his son a side-eye. “Have you asked yourself what you bring to the table, Galan?”
Galan paused for a moment at the question, but a smug smile grew on his lips, “I’m a born leader that Finreth is not. I can make hard decisions that Tuon cannot.” He looked forward gazing at the skyline, “I am forward and honest, unlike Finreth; I am brave and will not flee the front lines, unlike Tuon. It’s more than just my birthright, being king is what I was born to do.”

The king smiled, pleased by the answer. “Very good, Galan. Now, let’s discuss the state of affairs.”

-------------------------------------------

“Finreth! Please!” Tuon walked at his brother’s heels while his brother walked forward. “Surely you could spare just one!”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Finreth picked a book off the shelf and walked with it, eyeing the pages without reading it.
“Please! I’m begging you! All I want to do is impress Marie with it. She’s always so taken by Galan! I wanted to show her that I was here too, and that I could do something!”
Finreth turned around abruptly, causing Tuon to smash into his brother before straightening and continuing to look at him. Finreth looked at his brother sympathetically, “no, Tuon. I can’t have anyone knowing about it.”
“Oh, come on! It’s not like it’s some big secret Finreth! You have no idea how hard it is being in both of your shadows all the time! Besides, it’s not like anyone would know it was yours!” Tuon pressed his hands together as he begged.

Finreth rolled his eyes and turned away, “you are crying to the wrong ears about your problems, Tuon. I will not risk my reputation for your stupid feelings of inadequacy.”
“You’re a PAINTER, Finreth, it’s not like you’re seeking the company of men!” Tuon said quickly and exasperatedly.
Finreth spun around faster than Tuon expected and slammed his brother into the bookshelves, his forearm pressing into Tuon’s neck. Finreth looked at him with rage, “say that outloud once more, brother, and I will pull out my blade and truly make you the forgotten son of the king.”

Tuon swallowed and whimpered before Finreth let him go, and Tuon slid down the bookcase, rubbing his neck tenderly.
Finreth watched his brother with pity and sighed, “fine. I’ll get you something to give to Marie, but I swear to the GODS Tuon… if this comes back to me-”
“It won’t! I swear!” Tuon’s eyes gleamed with hope.
“It better not. Otherwise I swear that I’ll gut you pubically.”

Tuon grinned and smashed himself into his brother in a hug. “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
Finreth rolled his eyes, “get off of me, idiot.” He sighed, “come on, let’s get you a painting.”

-------------------------------------------

Tuon felt his stomach flipping over and over again as he approached the pretty blonde, Finreth’s painting rolled up in one of his hands, concealed.

Her back was turned as she spoke with another girl. Tuon took in a calming breath before tapping gently on her shoulder. “Marie?”
Marie turned suddenly, a wide grin on her face before it fell, “oh,” not who she expected, clearly, “you’re Tuon, right? Galan’s brother?”
Tuon tried to not grit his teeth, he hated being known as Galan’s brother. “Uh… yes. Galan’s brother.” He sighed, “that’s me.” He tried to smile at her, “I was wondering if you might… go for a walk… with me?”
Marie turned and exchanged a grin with the girl she had been speaking with before she turned around and smiled softly at him, “absolutely.”
Tuon felt like he could fly. He grinned as they started to walk through the gardens.

“How has Galan been? He hasn’t been out training very much.” Marie asked while looking up at Tuon.
Tuon tried to not frown, “well, he’s been alright, I suppose. Prepping for ruling keeps him…” Tuon shrugged awkwardly, “...very busy?”    
Marie nodded, “it must be so difficult doing it all alone.”

Tuon frowned fully this time, “he’s got a few people helping him, I don’t think he’ll have much trouble.”
“It’s still such a big burden.” Marie sighed thoughtfully.
“Enough about him though, your birthday is tomorrow, isn’t it?” Tuon looked at her nervously.

Marie smiled and nodded, “indeed it is! How did you know?”
Tuon smiled sheepishly, “I just… I pay attention to those things. I… I have something for you, if you’d like…” Tuon shifted and handed her the roll of paper he was carrying.
“Is this a tome of some kind?” She laughed, trying not to roll her eyes.    
“No… it’s a painting.” Tuon watched her intensely, trying to monitor her facial expressions.
She opened the painting and looked at in in awe, “this is so beautiful!” A hand covered her mouth as she examined it, “did Galan have this commissioned for me?” Her eyes sparkled as she spoke.
Tuon’s whole mood fell, “no,” he paused and searched her face, “I had it commissioned for you.” He swallowed, it was now or never. “I was hoping you might consider being with me.”

She looked at him, confused. “With you? Where with you?”
Tuon rubbed the back of his neck nervously, his heart was pounding, “I mean… I… uh… I was hoping that…”
Realization crossed her face, “oh? Oh! With you, with you. Right…” She looked away uncomfortably, “Tuon… I don’t think that would be the best idea.”
Tuon’s heart fell, but he nodded.
“It’s just that… with your brother expressing his interest in me… it would just be a little awkward, you know?”

“Right. Of course.” Tuon couldn’t look at her any longer.
“I’m so sorry Tuon, you can have the painting back if you’d like.” She offered the painting back to him.
“No, please.” Tuon shifted, “it was a gift for you, for your birthday. Please keep it.”
Marie nodded, “thank you, you’re very sweet.” She smiled at him and he almost forgot how hurt he was. “Anyways, I should probably get home. Take care of yourself, Tuon.”
“You as well.” Tuon tilted his head to her and watched her walk away, leaving him alone in the gardens.

He sighed and looked to the ground. “I would give anything for Galan to not be the center of the world for once. I wish... it could be me instead.”

There was a maniacal laughter along with a slow clapping that caused Tuon to jolt. The sound echoed in his ears and gave him a chill as he turned around swiftly.
Tuon looked at the demented man before him and held his ground. He was completely unaware of the man’s true power.
He was completely unaware that he stood before a god.



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Offline Nettlejuice

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Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part One]
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 06:45:17 AM »
I am hooked. The screenshots are beautifully done, the scenery is lovely and the Sims are drop dead gorgeous =D Poor Tuon, I can't wait to meet this stranger.
Chant: Life States (TS3) / Immortal Dynasty (TS4)




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Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part One]
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 10:39:23 AM »
I am hooked. The screenshots are beautifully done, the scenery is lovely and the Sims are drop dead gorgeous =D Poor Tuon, I can't wait to meet this stranger.
Thank you Nettlejuice! I've been working on this story in my head for a month now! I'm so glad the effort at least shows a little!


Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part One]
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2016, 02:40:20 PM »
Sounds like a stranger we've met.
I have no idea who you're talking about. ;) ::) XD
It's not like we could possibly know someone who's insane and powerful... and a god.
Hmm... nope. Nothing comes to mind. ;D

You have no idea how excited I am to write this story.

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Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part One]
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2016, 04:30:07 PM »
Yay! You have put it on the forum! I'm again, mad at how amazing everything looks. Great chapter!  ;D



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Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part One]
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2016, 04:51:49 PM »
Yay! You have put it on the forum! I'm again, mad at how amazing everything looks. Great chapter!  ;D
Thank you! I couldn't have done it without your help!
Also, thank you very much! It took a while of prepping (and a thousand million screenshots), but I think the effort paid off! :D

Offline oshizu

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Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part One]
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2016, 08:02:37 PM »
*swoons

I am just speechless.
Well, let me try to squeeze a few words out...brilliant settings, lavish costuming, complex personalities, and

*heart stops beating at the glimpse of those legs appearing out the bush

A million thanks!

Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part One]
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2016, 08:56:09 PM »
*swoons

I am just speechless.
Well, let me try to squeeze a few words out...brilliant settings, lavish costuming, complex personalities, and

*heart stops beating at the glimpse of those legs appearing out the bush

A million thanks!
Thank you! I've worked very hard on this story! I'm glad it can appeal to someone! If you hadn't found it by the end of the week I was about to send you a link, since we are in a fanclub, after all. ;)
Thank you for the compliments too! This story has been in the works for about a month, give-or-take, so I'm glad everyone likes it thus far! :)

Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part Two]
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2016, 02:26:54 AM »
Part Two
The Prophecy

Queen Araiel sat weakly in the bedroom she once shared with Eglanor. She felt a chill run through her and she shivered against the light breeze that came into the window. It was a summer day and she was chilled to the bone. Her hands trembled as she rubbed them to warm them up. There was a gentle knock on the door, followed by her handmaiden’s voice.

“Majesty?” Eliza pulled the door open just enough for her to squeeze through before she shut it behind her. “Your son, Finreth, is here to see you. He says you asked for him.” She bowed as she spoke.
Araiel smiled softly, “I did. Let him in, Eliza.” Her voice was soft and level.
Eliza nodded firmly, and turned to open the door again.
“Eliza? Bring me my tea set and hot water, please.” Queen Araiel’s voice stopped Eliza before she could even touch the doorknob again.

“Yes, majesty. Right away.” Eliza bowed again and opened the door, motioning for the boy waiting outside to enter before closing the door after him and disappearing into the castle.
Finreth stood rigidly by the door in the dark of his mother’s bedroom. His mother smiled at him, and held her hand out in his direction.
“My son, come sit by me.” She called to him weakly. She cleared her throat, but only ended up coughing lightly.
Finreth immediately eased and crossed the distance between them quickly, kneeling in front of his mother. “You should be in bed, mother. Being up like this isn’t good for your health.” He was concerned.

Araiel frowned at him, “you’re not permitted to tell me what to do, Finreth. I don’t have much time left and I’d rather be-”
“Don’t say that. You have plenty of time left.” Finreth cut her off firmly.
The queen laughed dryly, “are we still in denial about my illness?”
Finreth looked at his mother with determination in his eyes, “just optimistic. You’ll recover and be stronger than ever.”
There was a knock on the door before the door came open again. Eliza appeared with a tray in her hands, closing the door immediately behind her before approaching the Queen with the tray of tea. She placed the tray down on the table beside her and began to prepare it.
Finreth stood and nodded in a way that excused the servant and began to prepare the tea himself.

Eliza nodded, “will you need anything else, majesty?”
“No, that should be all.” Araiel said without looking away from the window.
Eliza bowed lowly and exited the room quietly just as she had entered.
Finreth finished mixing his mother’s tea and handed it to her gently.

She wrapped her freezing hands around the cup as she tried to get warm. “You did a wonderful thing for Tuon earlier.”
Finreth closed his eyes slowly, his jaw clenching, “how did I know you would already know about that?”
Araiel smiled, “I’m your mother - I know everything.” She sighed, “I’m really worried about your younger brother, Finreth.”
Finreth said nothing, insteading facing the window so he wouldn’t need to discuss his brothers.
“I know you try to stay out of the fray with your brothers, but I always hoped you three would be friends like you used to when you were younger.” The queen took a gentle sip of the tea and felt the heat warming her from the inside.

“Unfortunately I think that time has passed, mother. Galan is a pig-head and Tuon is a bundle of resentment waiting to blow. If you’re trying to suggest I perform a miracle, then you should already know that my answer is a firm ‘no.’” Finreth did not turn to look at his mother, for he knew if he did that she would guilt trip him into doing something he absolutely refused to do.
Araiel sighed and looked away, deciding to not press her luck, “are you still painting, Finreth?”
“I don’t paint.” Finreth responded immediately without thinking.

His mother’s lips quirked into a smile as she shook her head, “no, of course not. Forgive me, I must be losing my mind with this illness.” She paused, running her fingers around the rim of her tea glass. “Are you still,” she cleared her throat and straightened herself just slightly, “‘working on your individual projects?’” She pursed her lips.
Finreth turned and spared her a glance, unable to resist a smile that came over his face. “When I have spare time, yes. I’m running low on supplies though.”
“I see, I’ll send Eliza out to supply you later.” His mother nodded before looking into her tea sadly. “I’m sorry your father has scared you into hiding about that. I hope you know it’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
Finreth looked away again. “Perhaps you’ve forgotten mother, but everything I am is something to be ashamed of according to him.”
“He’s been very hard on you and Tuon, but after we lost-”
“I don’t want to talk about this any longer, mother. We talk about it every single time I come up to see you. I don’t want to think about Amet anymore mother. I don’t want to think about how things could’ve been. This is how they are.” Finreth responded coldly.
His mother was emotionless, and she nodded, opting to change the subject instead before she ended up losing her only company for the afternoon. “Have you had any time away from your - projects” she spoke the word slowly, giving him a knowing stare, “-to meet any nice young ladies?”

Finreth felt a dry laugh escape him, “I’ve changed my mind, can we talk about Amet now?”
His mother laughed lightly, she didn’t do that very much these days it seemed. “Oh Finreth, you’re not getting out of this one that easily. I want to be sure my dearest son will have someone to take care of him after I’m gone.”
Finreth let out an exaggerated sigh, “believe me, mother, I’m sure you’ll find a way to pester me long after you’re gone.”
Araiel let out another laugh that was unfortunately interrupted by another coughing spell. Finreth bent over her concerned, but she waved him off. “You really should speak more often, dear. Talking with you always brightens my day.” She frowned again, “Galan and your father don’t visit me much at all anymore, and Tuon… the boy always comes and reads me a book every morning,” she smiled softly, “but his choice in literature is always a little dry.”
Finreth smirked, “glad I could brighten up something for you, mother.” He paused and looked at his mother thoughtfully. “I have a deal for you, if you’re keen.”
She looked at him with skeptical eyes, “and what kind of deal are you offering me, Finreth?”

“If you promise that you’re going to be around to kick me down the aisle to some poor woman, I promise the next time I come to visit you I’ll drag Galan with me - kicking and screaming.” He was grinning while he made the proposal.
Laughter caused Araiel’s shoulders to shake, and she nodded. “I’ll do my best, my son.”
Finreth bowed to his mother, “do you need me to fetch Eliza in for anything?”
Araiel nodded thoughtfully, “please send her back in, I think I will be in need of some supplies.” She smiled at him knowingly and reached for him, taking his hand in hers. Finreth bent down to her eye level as she spoke again. “Take care of yourself, my Finreth.”
She said it to him every time he left, for she never knew when it might be the last.

Finreth nodded to her, kissing her cheek as he stood. “Get some rest, mother.”

-------------------------------------------

Galan’s morning conversation with his father caused him to do something that was much out of character for him; nevertheless he ignored the odd stares he got as he took to the castle library in search of understanding.

Prince Tuon, who was usually a fixture in the library, was unusually absent that afternoon, and Galan had taken a quiet, mental note of the absence.
Galan began in the far corner of the room and dug into his search. His fingers brushed the spines of every book while he focused.
The library smelled stuffy, he would much prefer being in open air, but he needed to focus and focus he did. Thankfully he wasn’t completely unread, and he knew which books might have what he needed - even if he did loathe reading them.
Unfortunately, the books that had what he needed were so few and spread that it would take all day to comb through the bookshelves to find them. Galan frowned, took a breath in and focused. Galan begrudgingly accepted that he might not get to spar with Raylen like he had every day. Yet, if it meant finding some ground to start working on protecting the kingdom he would inherit, then it was worth it.

“Your highness, I did not expect to see you in here.” It was the voice of Siun, the head scholar and royal tutor, that pulled him from his focus. “You just missed prince Tuon only moments ago.”
Galan’s lip twitched upward, “ah, I was wondering where the library’s statue - formerly known as my brother - had disappeared to. I thought for sure the castle had to have been on fire.”
Siun’s face was emotionless. “You should not insult your brother for his desire for knowledge.”
Galan met his gaze levelly, “I do not insult him for his knowledge,” he shrugged and then qualified: “I insult him for using the library as a child would a mother’s skirt rather than a shield.” He utilized the language Siun had even used to teach him originally, he remembered the quote word for word: ”Knowledge cannot be your blade, but it can be your shield. Use it to protect you, and you will seldom be hit.”

Siun tilted his head down, yielding to the statement, “I am glad you have not forgotten your lessons, my prince.”
Galan nodded, and the tension between the two men seemed to dissipate. “Perhaps you can help me, as I’m not familiar with where everything is. I’m looking for a book pertaining to the gods. The one that went into their positions. I also was hoping you might have that book on the Death Keepers around here somewhere.”

Siun reached around him and tugged the spine of a book forward from beside Galan. “The book on death keepers is right here… oddly, the book on the gods is missing. How unusual.” His voice was flat when he spoke. Siun turned and meandered over to the table with books and scrolls on it, his fingers passing briefly over each one as he looked for the missing book.
Galan pulled the book on death keepers out and thumbed through it idly while Siun moved from table to table with his seemingly all-knowing eyes. He vaguely remembered his lesson on the death keepers; they were a very rare occurrence - a mortal of two or more supernatural backgrounds born with the powers of death; a hybrid. They were almost always merciless and enjoyed playing with mortals and causing destruction. Their lives were short and during the time of their lives they were meant to ferry the dead to their place of resting. Power often consumed them before they got too comfortable, though.
Siun stopped walking when his fingers brushed over a book on the table. “Here it is.” His brow furrowed, “funny, I didn’t think Tuon was studying the gods. I thought he had moved on to the second age war.”

He picked the book up and walked back over to Galan, handing it to him.
Galan shrugged at the information, “the fool used to pretend he was magically gifted when he was a kid; he’s probably just fulfilling some sad fantasy.” Galan chuckled.
Siun didn’t seem convinced, but he let it drop. “May I inquire the reason your highness seeks such knowledge?”
Galan pursed his lips while examining the books in his hands, “my father has informed me of some troubling occurrences that have started up in the kingdom that has him worried.”
Siun nodded, “you will probably want the book of prophecies then.” He turned and walked across the library to a shelf where he grabbed the book off the shelf - knowing exactly where it was.
“Prophecy book? What good would that do?” Galan had started flipping through the book on death keepers more thoroughly.
Siun opened the book of prophecies and jumped back farther in it, carefully examining each page that he passed as he searched for what he wanted. “It is not the Book of Fate.” Siun noted as he walked slowly, “it is not as clear or detailed, but it is seldom wrong. Ah-!” His finger landed starkly on a passage. “It says, ‘for in this age the sky will fall, order will right a vicious wrong, and out of the ashes, one will rise.’”

Galan’s brow furrowed, “I hate riddles.” He muttered.
Siun laughed dryly, “it’s not as bad as some of the others.”
Galan shook his head and sighed, “I have a theory, if you’ll indulge me. I know I’m not as well read as Tuon, but hear me out.”
Siun looked at him with interest.
“I believe there’s a death keeper here - potentially unborn.”
Siun’s eyes filled with skepticism as well as intrigue. “Surely you have reasoning behind this? I did not teach you to make guesses without truths behind it.”

Galan was unmoved, “we’ve all been told about the ‘divine’ explosion during my grandfather’s rule. We all know the race to the temples that followed, yet nothing changed.” Galan paused thoughtfully. “If this were the work of a god, don’t you think the other gods would do something - would… react?”
Siun absorbed the information, “not if it were Agonin or Quismat who were angry about something.”
Galan shook his head, “it wouldn’t make sense. A god blowing up his own temple, sure. A god blowing up a temple of his enemy, fine. But a god blowing up a temple of two gods who sit neutral to each other?”
Siun nodded, “it would start a holy war.”

“Exactly. I’m not sure about you, elder, but I see no holy war.” Galan held up his hand as he spoke. “I think this magic that’s fallen over the land is that of a petulant child compared to that of the magic of gods. And what are Death Keepers but a grain of sand compared to the boulder that is the gods.”
“You think the gods would not act in response to the rise of a new death keeper?”
Galan pursed his lips, “it’s the only explanation I can think of.”
Siun nodded, “I concede that you have a point, however you should remember, just because you cannot think of another answer, does not mean what you have is the answer.” He bowed to him, “I will leave you to your studies, your highness.”
Galan watched Siun leave and took to his studies.

-------------------------------------------

It was getting dark when Tuon snuck into the castle and up the stairs quietly. His eyes scanned the rooms carefully before he would dart around any corners, hoping to avoid being spotted and reamed out for missing dinner and thus asking where he’s been. If he made it back to his room he could then just claim he lost track of time in the library as he usually did. No one would be any wiser.
His bedroom door was in sight, he could practically taste the relief from not being caught when a voice sent waves of fear rushing through him.

“Hello there, little brother.” Galan’s voice was cold and amused - as though he were toying with him. “You missed dinner with mother, where have you been?”
Tuon straightened and shifted uncomfortably. “I was just in the library, as usual.” He shrugged innocently, “I guess I just lost track of time.”
Galan looked at him skeptically, “you were in the library? Funny, I was in the library all afternoon into the evening and Siun and I did not see you.” His voice was cold and calculated.
Tuon had been caught in a lie and he could feel his throat tightening.
“Not to mention, I don’t think you need a riding cloak to go all the way across the hallway from your room.” Galan was just toying with him at this point.
Tuon shifted uneasily before his eyes narrowed to a fine slit, “I traveled out to study. Though it’s none of your business, brother. It’ll take more than brute strength to fix the problems our kingdom has, surely you’d know that.”

Galan’s face fell as he sensed a strong change had occurred in his younger brother. Galan glared at him and stepped closer to him, invading his personal space, “lying to the crown prince and then implying insult, are we - brother?!” He spat the name now.
Tuon glared right back and a strangely hollow smile pulled at his cheeks. “Forgive me, I forgot that you were slower than the rest of us here. Should I talk slower for you? Or perhaps maybe I shouldn’t use such big words?”
Galan shoved Tuon forcefully, “are you insulting the crown prince? That’s an offense punishable by death, little brother.”
Tuon bounced back and got right back in his brother’s face, “you would want to kill me. Get rid of any decent competition for the throne, right?”

Finreth walked up the stairs while supporting his mother when they heard the fighting from the hallway. His mother gave him a look of worry as they came into view of a shoving match that had broken out between Tuon and Galan.
“Boys!” Queen Araiel tried to shout, but as she moved to step forward and intervene she felt a wave of coughing come over her.
Finreth sprang into action and threw himself at Tuon, going for the weaker of his brothers as he knew he could hold him off better. “HEY!” He shouted. He shoved Tuon back against the wall behind them and held his arm out to stop Galan from crossing over to him. They shouted insults and curse words across the distance at each other. “HEY!” Finreth shouted again. “COOL IT!”

Tuon and Galan stopped fighting and stared at him, Finreth’s voice sank to just above a harsh whisper. “Our. Mother. Is. Right. There.” He emphasized every word as he turned and looked at each of them. Finreth released Tuon from the wall and clenched his fists, he turned onto Galan. “The crown prince should not anger so easily, you pig-headed brute!” He turned fully onto Tuon at this point, “and YOU, what in all the GODS names has told you that insulting the man who is soon to be your king is a good idea?! You’re both acting like children!”

“Who are you calling pig-headed?!” Galan snapped.
“I am NOT a child! I can’t go anywhere without getting a cross-examination from this lout!” Tuon pointed across at Galan.
“Oh please, like you haven’t been up to something lately!”
Finreth looked at Tuon harder and his brow furrowed, “where have you been… and why are you wearing a riding cloak?”
Galan looked smug, but Tuon’s face grew exasperated, “ME?! I’ve been attacked by Galan and you’re questioning me about where I’ve been?!”

Araiel watched her boys fight but could feel the disease spreading inside of her, sucking the life from her. “Boys…” Her voice was too weak for them to hear. She felt her knees grow weak, and then she collapsed.

Offline Nettlejuice

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Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part Two]
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2016, 01:06:44 PM »
I have my suspicions about Finreth, something that Tuon said in the previous chapter and I'm wondering if I'm correct about him. Time will tell. Poor Araiel having to see her sons fighting, this 'disease' sounds a lot like a curse so I'm intrigued to find out if Galan may be right.
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Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part Two]
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2016, 03:02:35 PM »
I have my suspicions about Finreth, something that Tuon said in the previous chapter and I'm wondering if I'm correct about him. Time will tell. Poor Araiel having to see her sons fighting, this 'disease' sounds a lot like a curse so I'm intrigued to find out if Galan may be right.
I feel bad for the queen; her boys aren't doing her illness any favors, and her husband hasn't really spent time with her since she fell ill.
I guess we'll just have to wait for that silly writer to get her stuff together to figure out what'll happen. ::)

Offline oshizu

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Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part Two]
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2016, 10:42:46 PM »
I love the colors of your new project---the dark colors of a medieval stone castle setting, with the family wearing dark green contrasted with golds and yellows.
The opening shot of this thread is really stunning.

Galan and Tuon are both schemers. So far, Tuon seems not very bright--why go after the Crown Prince's romantic interest?
Did Tuon love her first? Does he realize how little he has to offer her?
Finreth seems to be the dreamer of the lot. Is that why the mother appears to favor him, too?

As usual, I have so many silent questions (well, silent in the sense that I'm not actually asking you for questions but merely voicing my reactions to your chapter).
Please praise me--I got through an entire post without mentioning "he-who-shall-go-unnamed."

What a gifted, imaginative piece of writing this is!

Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part Two]
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2016, 11:38:09 PM »
I love the colors of your new project---the dark colors of a medieval stone castle setting, with the family wearing dark green contrasted with golds and yellows.
The opening shot of this thread is really stunning.

Galan and Tuon are both schemers. So far, Tuon seems not very bright--why go after the Crown Prince's romantic interest?
Did Tuon love her first? Does he realize how little he has to offer her?
Finreth seems to be the dreamer of the lot. Is that why the mother appears to favor him, too?

As usual, I have so many silent questions (well, silent in the sense that I'm not actually asking you for questions but merely voicing my reactions to your chapter).
Please praise me--I got through an entire post without mentioning "he-who-shall-go-unnamed."

What a gifted, imaginative piece of writing this is!
-Pats you on the back- you did so well not mentioning "he-who-shall-go-unnamed!" I'm so proud of you! ;D ;)
Does that help? For what it's worth I'll have another chapter up by the end of the night. The story is coming to a rapid close much faster than I intended... two more parts (then an epilogue)!

Anyways, thank you so, so much for the compliments! This story has been a blast to write (and I can't believe I'm on part 3 out of 4 already, but I couldn't wait to just get it all out there). I'll be relieved once the ending has come and I don't have to be all excited about everyone reading it anymore. ::) XD

I love your observations on the boys, it's very true. Tuon did love Marie first, but Galan saw that Tuon liked her and went after her instead. It's kind of what Galan does. Unfortunately, that didn't get to make it into the story, so many things going on and what-not. ::)
Anyways I won't answer too many of your questions. I thought I would chime in on that one because I know that I won't be able to fit it into the chapters. :-X
I imagine I can guess what some of those questions are, given that you fought the good fight to hold in all those pesky questions about "he-who-shall-go-unnamed."

I look forward to your response reading these last two parts. :) Perhaps I'll have one or two tricks up my sleeve that everyone will enjoy.

 

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