Author Topic: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Complete]  (Read 3461 times)

Offline LivvieLove

  • Queen of Mush
  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 2372
  • "Sh! Be quiet! The nutters are out to get me."
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

  • Queen of Mush
  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 2372
  • "Sh! Be quiet! The nutters are out to get me."
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.



Registered members do not see ads on this Forum. Register here.

Offline Nettlejuice

  • Baba Gothel
  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 2836
  • Mother knows best, Rapunzel
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)




Mother Gothel & Baba Yaga Enthusiast

Offline LivvieLove

  • Queen of Mush
  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 2372
  • "Sh! Be quiet! The nutters are out to get me."
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

  • Queen of Mush
  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 2372
  • "Sh! Be quiet! The nutters are out to get me."
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.

Offline mpart

  • A Crazy
  • Immortal
  • *****
  • Posts: 750
  • The Labelles shall overtake!
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



Registered members do not see ads on this Forum. Register here.

Offline LivvieLove

  • Queen of Mush
  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 2372
  • "Sh! Be quiet! The nutters are out to get me."
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

  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 5597
    • oshizu's asylum
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

  • Queen of Mush
  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 2372
  • "Sh! Be quiet! The nutters are out to get me."
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

  • Queen of Mush
  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 2372
  • "Sh! Be quiet! The nutters are out to get me."
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

  • Baba Gothel
  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 2836
  • Mother knows best, Rapunzel
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.
Chant: Life States (TS3) / Immortal Dynasty (TS4)




Mother Gothel & Baba Yaga Enthusiast

Offline LivvieLove

  • Queen of Mush
  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 2372
  • "Sh! Be quiet! The nutters are out to get me."
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

  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 5597
    • oshizu's asylum
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

  • Queen of Mush
  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 2372
  • "Sh! Be quiet! The nutters are out to get me."
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.

Offline LivvieLove

  • Queen of Mush
  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 2372
  • "Sh! Be quiet! The nutters are out to get me."
Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part Three]
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2016, 12:52:29 AM »
Part Three
The Fall

King Eglanor was summoned to his wife’s side as were their three remaining children. The royal tutor, Siun, carefully attended to the queen all night the previous night after her collapse. The men stood somber, expecting grave news.

Galan stood straight, but his eyes fell to the floor with shame that the last thing his mother would see of him could be of the fight between he and Tuon.
Finreth leaned against the wall, arms crossed and eyes closed in meditation and frustration.
Tuon stood with an empty stare ahead, nervous energy seeming to surround him.
King Eglanor sat and eyed the bed quietly, an unknown emotion written in his features.

Finally Siun spoke, “she has survived the night. She is weak now, but she will live.”
Galan couldn’t stop the smile that came from the relief he felt, his brothers had strangely mixed reactions: Finreth only grew more solemn and looked away, while Tuon’s anxiety had clearly increased.
King Eglanor nodded, stood, and exited the room without another word, and Finreth watched him go with a glare.
Queen Araiel coughed lightly and her eyes came open slowly.
Galan ran over to his mother’s bedside, kneeling with his eyes to the floor. “Mother!”

Araiel looked at her son quietly and a weak smile passed over her lips, “my son, Galan. I’m so happy to see you.” Her voice was lower and lacked the energy it usually had.
“I’m so sorry mother. I know I haven’t been around as much as I should’ve…”
Araiel ran her hand along his cheek and shook her head gently, “I’m just happy to see you now, my son.”
Galan stood up quickly, “are you hungry? Do you need anything? I’m going to get that silly servant. You’re going to need all the help you can get in order to recover.” Galan took off for the door, and his mother smiled sadly and watched him go. Her eyes caught Finreth’s from across the room. Tuon noticed this and looked at Finreth’s face that showed nothing but distaste.
“My Finreth,” she held her hand out to him, as she did every day when he came to see her, “why the sour face?”
Finreth took a long breath in and pulled himself from the wall, walking around the bed slowly. “You live today, but for how much longer?” His voice was low as he shook his head. “I would not wish you to live forever only to see you in pain everyday.”
Araiel smiled at him, “do not worry for me, my son. You held up your end of the deal, it’s my turn to hold up mine.” She smiled at him weakly and tried to laugh, but it only came out as coughing.
Finreth smiled at her and shook his head. “I suppose I did.”

Araiel motioned for Finreth to come forward, and Finreth leaned over closer to her. Araiel examined her son’s face, “you are destined for great things, my son.” She shook her head, “do not forget that.”
Finreth’s face became serious and he closed his eyes. He let out a long breath as he nodded, “I’ll be by to see you later, mother, as usual.”
His mother raised her eyebrows at him, “remember our deal. Perhaps you should work on that instead.” She tried to tease, but Finreth was the only one who understood what she meant. Tuon gave him an odd stare, but Finreth just shrugged at his brother before exiting the room quietly.
Araiel smiled at her last son then, “Tuon, my sweet Tuon, are you alright dear? I heard about what happened with Marie.”
Tuon looked at her in disbelief, “how could you know?”
Araiel smiled, “I’m your mother, I know everything.” It was her favorite joke. In reality, her only frequent interaction with the outside world was the servants that came in and out of her room, and as such, she learned about things only the servants knew.
Tuon shook his head and looked away.
“Tuon… please do not let her bother you. You will find a wonderful woman who will make you very happy, I’m sure.” Araiel tried to comfort him.

Tuon crossed his arms, “I’m so sick of being in their shadows.” His brothers. He would always be underneath them, and it made him angry. "I'm tired as being defined as Galan or Finreth's brother!"
“Tuon, you are not in their shadows.” She tried to motion him over to her, but he did not move nor meet her eyes.
“I will never be able to prove my worth because no one will see me.”
Araiel shook her head, feeling distressed for her son. "Tuon... you are as bright as a star-"
Tuon cut her off, "I don't want to be a star, mother. I want to be the sun." He bowed curtly and walked out the door without another word, leaving Araiel alone. She sighed and closed her eyes, unsure of what had become of her boys.

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

Tuon bit his cheek, his eyes looking around nervously. He replayed the conversation he had with the stranger in the garden in his head over and over again, trying to harden his resolve.
”I can grant you anything you desire, but a price ALWAYS must be paid.” That man’s laughter made Tuon’s skin crawl, but he knew what he needed to do. He would pay the price, no matter what it took. Galan could not take the throne, he would run the country into the ground.

Tuon replayed what he heard his mother telling Finreth. Tuon wanted to let Finreth live, he really did, but he couldn’t take any chances. Thoughts swarmed Tuon’s head. Perhaps Finreth could be persuaded? Galan will never give up his birthright, but Finreth? He never wanted any of it. Of course Finreth was mother’s favorite. Tuon felt his mind turn to something more bitter. Tuon was never good enough for either of his parents, nor his brothers. He was not strong enough, he was not brave enough, he was not charming enough, he was just not enough. He would show them that it doesn’t take strength to run a country. He had the answer to the problems right at his fingertips, and while Galan ran around with his silly theories on the death keepers, Tuon would know better. Tuon would carry Dragon Valley to prosperity once again, if only they would just give him a chance.
His mother had made a deal with Finreth. Over what, Tuon couldn't be certain, but if he had to wager a guess it would be the throne. Tuon frowned. Finreth would be working on 'their deal' and Tuon knew that he would need to dig in and figure that out before he could move forward with his plans, but he just didn't have time for that.

Tuon sighed and entered the castle library - his sanctuary. He had until the end of the day to pay his price or the deal was off. Tuon ran his fingers along the books on the shelves when the idea struck him. Perhaps he wouldn't need to worry about either of his brother's after all.

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

Finreth moved quietly through the castle, his thoughts were dark as he thought of how close his mother had come to dying. His mother had teased him that he should get to work on finding a wife, but that was the farthest thing from his mind. He's spent enough time dealing with people in these last few days to last him a lifetime, and he was determined to find some solitude in the comfort of his room.

Finreth quietly slipped into his bedroom before he noticed something was very off - his hidden door was open. A rush of fear and anxiety hit him before he hardened his resolve to anger. There was an intruder in his room and he would deal with them swiftly. He looked around but knew his blade was nowhere closeby. He crept to the fake bookshelf and peered in before he rushed the intruder.
Finreth had pinned back the culprit but soon found two big eyes of a woman staring back at him. He released her immediately, but kept his angry stance. "Who are you?! You don't belong in here!"

The girl jumped back and held her hands out in front of her. "I'm sorry! I'm so, so sorry my prince!" She fell to her knees and didn't look him in the eyes.    
"What are you doing in here?! Who ARE you?!" Finreth looked at her sharply with his fists clenched.
She made a motion to the basket on the floor across from her, "I was just supposed to deliver those to you, I swear it."

Finreth stole a glance at the basket of art supplies before his eyes narrowed back at the girl. "Eliza is the one who brings me art supplies."
The girl shook her head, "I'm so sorry, your highness, she was too busy... with the queen's illness and all..."
Finreth gritted his teeth, "who else knows?!"
"Just me, your highness! I swear it! I swear!" She still hadn't looked up at him.
Finreth did not ease, but he nodded slightly. "That doesn't explain what you're doing in here." He growled.
"I came in to bring your supplies and you-"

"They're not mine." He hissed.
The girl quieted and bit her lip, confused. "Eliza mentioned you had a hidden room... I just wanted to put the supplies out of sight, your highness, that's all. I figured you wouldn't want someone to walk in and see a basket of paints in plain view."
Finreth frowned at the intuition the servant had, and his angry reaction faded back to the darker feelings he had felt earlier. "Ah." He nodded and swallowed, looking around awkwardly. After a long silence he let out a breath and offered her his hand.
The servant stared at it anxiously for a long moment before taking it very hesitantly.

Finreth pulled her to her feet gently, "I apologize for... rushing you like that." He said to the wall beside her, not able to meet her gaze.
The woman shook her head, "I'm so sorry for invading your space. I beg your forgiveness, your highness."
Finreth gave a short nod, sucking in his cheek. "It's probably best if we never speak of this again. I trust I have your discretion on this matter."
The servant nodded furiously, "of course, your highness. Not one soul will know." She paused for a long moment before she stole a glance up at his face, "for what it's worth, these paintings are the most beautiful use of mixed mediums I’ve ever seen." She tilted her head down and started to slowly back for the door.
Finreth stared at the wall a moment longer, "what's your name?"
The girl stopped immediately, fear filling her eyes. "My... my name?"

“Yes, what is your name?” Finreth looked at her, his face unreadable.
The girl shifted and looked to the floor, “Leila, your highness.”
“Leila.” He let her name roll off his tongue, “a pretty name.”
Leila flushed, unsure of whether she was in trouble or being flirted with. “I…”
“You’re familiar with painting?” His voice was gentler now, almost interested.
Leila smiled softly, “I’m not good at it, especially not as good as these… but I have dabbled in it. That’s… that’s why Eliza sent me… I think.”

Finreth nodded, and they grew quiet. Finreth had never met someone who actually knew about painting in an actual artistic sense. Siun had taught him the history of it, and the logical side of it, but he had never met someone who viewed it the same way he did.
“If that’s all, your highness, I’ll take my leave.” Leila curtseyed quietly, her eyes to the floor. She turned to the hidden door.
“Wait.” Finreth called to her and she stopped, turning to look at him. “Would you mind staying for a bit longer?” He paused and took a breath in. “I… have never had the chance to talk to someone who actually enjoys painting… the way that I do.”

The servant’s eyes grew wide and she looked around, “are you sure, your highness? I… I’m not exactly suitable company for a prince.”
Finreth flashed a charming smile, “that’s exactly why you’re the most suitable company I would ever want to be in.” The thought of his father having a heart attack over him fraternizing with the servants only solidified the decision.
Leila being beautiful certainly didn’t hurt either.

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

Galan had been on his way back to the library to return to his research when Tuon exiting caused him to pause. Galan turned away and walked towards the window, he would not be dragged into another fight with Tuon, not after the way last night went. He would do his best to ignore his brother and focus on his birthright and all the things that came with it.
"Brother." Tuon spoke coldly as he approached Galan.

Galan grimaced, "I do not wish to speak with you, Tuon." He would be the bigger person for their mother's sake, and no one else's.
"Too good for everyone, as usual." Tuon spat.
Galan looked at his brother as though he were a foreigner. The brashness with which he spoke could not have been the brother he knew. What happened to the coward in the library? "I will remind you of your place in position to me, brother, but I will not take your bait. I refuse to distress mother any further." Galan said firmly.

Tuon rolled his eyes, "well, that position won't be yours for long if mother has her way. You ran out right before things got interesting - brother." He narrowed his eyes and a small smile tugged at his lips. For once it felt good to see his older brother squirm - after all the years of torment Tuon was finally getting the upper hand. Tuon had planned this perfectly. He leaned over to his brother with a wicked grin, "mother and Finreth made a deal for the throne. It appears I'm not the only one who's viable competition for you, dear brother."

Galan's face hardened, and he opened his mouth to ask further of the situation, but Tuon patted him on the shoulder, "good luck, Galan." He said coldly, and he turned and walked off, a wicked smile spreading over his features as he did. It was a shame he was pulling Finreth down this way, but in the end it would be worth it. Everything would be worth it.

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

Leila had spent several hours in Finreth's hidden room talking with the prince. She found herself surprised by how charming and normal he seemed. She had only ever gotten glimpses of him when she would deliver food to the royal table on rare occasions. If she were honest with herself she just assumed he was an angry, stuck-up royal from the way his face always seemed to rest on a scowl. His younger brother was much brighter and friendlier to the servants, and his older brother was certainly easier on the eyes to look at, yet today he was different.

She had always thought royals had it easy, that their lives were just perfect and ripe with happiness. She frowned as she thought of how he worded it, his "gilded cage." She never thought royalty would be forbidden to do anything at all, and yet his life seemed almost worse of than her own. Despite that, when he spoke about his art she could see the light in his eyes. He was actually quite handsome that way. She stopped and stood for a long moment, cursing herself inwardly. Off-limits. He was thoroughly off-limits.
She sighed and looked down when suddenly she was jerked backwards - forcefully shoved against the brick behind her. Pain radiated into her back and she screamed, dropping the clothing she carried. A blade was held to her neck firmly as she looked upon her attacker's face.

"Hello peasant." The crown prince looked at her with anger in his eyes. "You spent an awful long time in my brother's room today, didn't you?"
Leila's lip trembled, unsure of if she should speak, nod, or say nothing at all.
"If you value your life, peasant, you will tell me everything."

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

Tuon quietly walked up the stairs to his mother's bedroom, book in hand. He could feel the anxiety filling him, nearly destroying him. It was almost time. He bit his lip and let out a breath to try and steady his nerves. His mother could usually see right through him. He needed to be firm in his resolve. He had to pay his price, and he couldn't let her stop him.
Tuon knocked on her door and opened it, surprised - and somewhat relieved - that the servants were not around. "Mother? It's me. Can I come in?"
His mother looked over at him from the bed with a weak smile, "Tuon, I'm glad you've come to see me." Her voice had gotten a little stronger from this morning, showing she was on the mend.
Tuon felt a pang of guilt run through him, "I'm so sorry for my outburst earlier."

Araiel smiled at him, "all is forgiven, Tuon. I'm just glad to see you're doing better."
"I brought a book to read you," Tuon approached her bedside hesitantly.
Araiel nodded and studied him intensely. "Tuon... is something wrong?"
His mother had already scented it out. Tuon almost couldn't believe it. He could still back out - there was still time.
No. He was going through with it. He had to.
The door came open suddenly as Eliza entered quietly, not seeing Tuon in the room.

"How are you feeling, your majes-" Eliza squealed, "the prince! I'm so sorry, your majesty! I did not give him permission to enter!" Eliza's eyes were wide with a mixture of slight anger and fear.
Araiel shook her head and smiled weakly, "it is quite alright, Eliza. My sons are always welcome here."
Eliza nodded and curtseyed. "Forgive me, your majesty. Is there anything I can do for you?"
Araiel looked at her son then back to Eliza. "No, I think I'll be set for the afternoon. Why don't you go enjoy yourself with a few hours off."
Eliza looked around with big eyes, "are you sure, your majesty?" She almost couldn't believe what she heard.
Araiel nodded, "absolutely."
Eliza bowed lowly, "thank you, your majesty. Thank you so, so much." Her voice was filled was sheer gratitude before she slowly moved towards the door, "please call if you need anything." She bowed again, lower, and then disappeared out the door.
Tuon almost couldn't believe the way things were working out. He looked at his mother nervously, "are you sure about that, mother?"
Araiel gave him a strange look. "Of course I am. I'm glad to have some time with my dearest son."
Another pang of guilt ran through him.
"Will you tell me what's bothering you, Tuon?" She poked at his secrecy again, and Tuon felt a cold sweat cover him.
He looked away, "I would rather we didn't talk about it right now," he spoke quietly and thought quickly. "Just feeling sad about Marie." He lied.
Araiel nodded warmly, "I'm so sorry Tuon. She wasn't good enough for you anyways." She reached over and grabbed Tuon's hand with hers. "What did you bring to read to me?"
Tuon looked at his mother sadly, before picking up his book. "Just some fables, something lighthearted."
"That sounds wonderful. I should warn you though, I'm a little tired. Please do not take it personally if I cannot stay awake, my son." She smiled sadly. "I should be on the mend though. Maybe even enough that we can have dinner again, and perhaps you'll be there this time?"
Tuon swallowed, his mother's weapon of choice was always guilt, and she was an expert at wielding it. He nodded, "that would be great." His voice broke as he spoke but he shook it off and opened the book before his mother could question it.
Tuon focused on reading aloud to his mother. He read the words, though he didn't actually pay any attention to them. After a point he finally looked up and saw his mother had dozed off. He put the book down beside him on the bed and felt himself struggling to breathe.

”I can grant you anything you desire, but a price ALWAYS must be paid.”
The man's laughter echoed in his ears and Tuon swallowed and closed his eyes. He remembered all the times in his life when Galan had pushed him around. All the times he had been publicly humiliated by being unable to fight. He remembered how Finreth watched and even laughed at points. How Galan had purposefully gone after Marie after Tuon had expressed interest. Tuon thought and thought until his thoughts fueled his anger. He reached further up on the bed and grasp at the pillow that was there.
"In order for you to gain a new life..."
He picked the pillow up quietly. His eyes still closed. He sucked in a breath as he gripped the pillow with both of his hands firmly. He clenched his jaw. In one swift movement, he smashed the pillow onto his mother's face and held it there.
"... you must take someone else's away."
Tuon's eyes opened widely as his mother struggled against him. She was too weak from the illness to truly fight back though, and her attempts to fight only grew weaker. Tears fell from Tuon's eyes and his lip trembled.
Eventually, Araiel stopped fighting completely.
Tuon began to sob openly. "I'm sorry." He whispered. "I'm so sorry." He choked on his tears and his whole body trembled. He removed the pillow from his mother's face and almost couldn't bear to see her so still. He slowly put the pillow back into place and stood up. He felt dizzy, like he needed fresh air. The room was suffocating him. He wiped his tear-stained face and ran from his mother's room.
Outside, another explosion occurred further into town. Tuon's actions had triggered events that would change the world forever.
The fall had begun, and nothing could stop it.

Offline oshizu

  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 5597
    • oshizu's asylum
Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part Two]
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2016, 01:12:01 AM »
Such tragedy!
At this point, I detest Galan for tormenting Tuon, stealing Marie, and now interrogating the very lovely Leila. (I recall you have a weakness for natural freckles...)
Galan is beyond salvation.

Tuon's anger makes him too vulnerable but how could he agree to sacrifice his mother?
I'm sad that the artistic Finreth will likely be robbed of his happiness.

I will patiently wait to learn whether these events occur before or after Anne's fateful encounter with he-who-shall-go-unmentioned.
Such suspense!

Offline LivvieLove

  • Queen of Mush
  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 2372
  • "Sh! Be quiet! The nutters are out to get me."
Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part Three]
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2016, 01:32:39 AM »
Such tragedy!
At this point, I detest Galan for tormenting Tuon, stealing Marie, and now interrogating the very lovely Leila. (I recall you have a weakness for natural freckles...)
Galan is beyond salvation.

Tuon's anger makes him too vulnerable but how could he agree to sacrifice his mother?
I'm sad that the artistic Finreth will likely be robbed of his happiness.

I will patiently wait to learn whether these events occur before or after Anne's fateful encounter with he-who-shall-go-unmentioned.
Such suspense!
All I can say is this next chapter will answer ALL of your questions regarding "he-who-shall-go-unnamed" and more. I'm so excited. Bursting. Really. I've started writing the next chapter already, but likely won't post it until tomorrow or the next day.

I love how you remember my love of natural freckles! She's an adorable girl. Poor Finreth is pretty good at painting too. :-/

Thank you for always reading and commenting! I love hearing what you and other commenters/readers are thinking about with my chapters/stories. Anyways, it's the final countdown! :3

Offline Nettlejuice

  • Baba Gothel
  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 2836
  • Mother knows best, Rapunzel
Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part Three]
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2016, 05:09:00 AM »
*flips table* No, you did not! Urgh, I am just so angry! And want to read the next part right now xD

I've been reading your signature and something about Reapers seemed familiar so I went and checked the story, to my surprise I've read your stories before. I loved the Reapers, but went on a hiatus from the forum and didn't get back into reading. I couldn't remember where I had seen the stories before but I've found you again, I have to begin from the start as I've forgotten so much. Reading Oshizu's comments, there must be some connection to the Reapers so I'll be sure to read them no matter how long it takes ^-^
Chant: Life States (TS3) / Immortal Dynasty (TS4)




Mother Gothel & Baba Yaga Enthusiast

Offline LivvieLove

  • Queen of Mush
  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 2372
  • "Sh! Be quiet! The nutters are out to get me."
Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part Three]
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2016, 12:44:11 PM »
*flips table* No, you did not! Urgh, I am just so angry! And want to read the next part right now xD

I've been reading your signature and something about Reapers seemed familiar so I went and checked the story, to my surprise I've read your stories before. I loved the Reapers, but went on a hiatus from the forum and didn't get back into reading. I couldn't remember where I had seen the stories before but I've found you again, I have to begin from the start as I've forgotten so much. Reading Oshizu's comments, there must be some connection to the Reapers so I'll be sure to read them no matter how long it takes ^-^
(Evil grin) Yeah, I think I did. ::) I'm working on the next part as we speak! I work tonight, but after that I get the pictures and will try to have it up later tonight! It's the final chapter in our story - and then there will be an epilogue! :D

Aw, thank you so much! Welcome back from your hiatus! I take a few of those every now and then, but when I came back this time I really came back full force - I really got in there and nailed out the lore you're kind of getting a glimpse of here. ::) I apologize, you'll probably have A LOT to read, but hopefully it will be an enjoyable journey!
As for Oshizu's comments - there is a connection between the stories. I will not say how, for I don't want to spoil anything. I will state that these stories are separate though, and you should not need to read one to understand the other. It's more just for fun for people who are fans of that particular character (he-who-shall-go-unnamed-until-this-next-chapter ;) ) considering where we are in my story is reflective of a different area of his life.

There, I think I summarized that without spoiling anything. :-X That's tricker than it seems, haha!
Anyways, thank you so much for your wonderful comment! The final part is dawning!

Offline LivvieLove

  • Queen of Mush
  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 2372
  • "Sh! Be quiet! The nutters are out to get me."
Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part Four]
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2016, 02:11:47 AM »
Part Four
From the Ashes

Finreth had gone out for a bit of sparring practice. Seeing Leila roaming around in his room - his secrets - made him entirely uneasy. He had practiced the rest of the afternoon, but his head wasn’t in it. She had a pretty smile. His father would die if he married the servant. The thought made him actually a little happy. It would never happen, but the thought alone was enough to bring him a bit of joy.
In the distance, Finreth spotted a large cloud of smoke climbing into the horizon. A fire had started? He was confused and stared at it with narrow eyes before he turned and went inside, hoping to get some answers. His brother Tuon nearly knocked him over as he passed him through the door. Finreth’s brow furrowed, “hey!?” Tuon looked at him briefly with fear in his eyes before he shook it off and continued out the door. Finreth was flabbergasted by how odd Tuon had been acting lately. He shook it off though, as there appeared to be a fire in the distance that would need attending to and his father would need to know.

His father wasn’t in the throne room, which was highly unusual. Everything seemed unusual lately and it made Finreth deeply uneasy. He looked around before climbing the stairs to check to see if perhaps his father had grown a heart and gone to visit his mother. He stopped as he passed his own bedroom door and heard noises inside. Rage filled him and he threw his door open only to find a scene that would put him in ruins.
His father stood with a raised eyebrow staring into Finreth’s secret hide-away - the bookshelf had been overturned to the side while a roughed up and deeply traumatized Leila sat helplessly on the floor, crying. Galan stood there as well, a smug look on his face when he turned to look at Finreth. “Look who finally decided to join us. Come to paint a bit? Oh wait! You don’t paint, or at least, that’s what you always say.

Finreth looked around with his mouth open and his fists clenched.
His father turned to look at him, shaking his head, “and here I thought my only daughter was dead.” His voice was hollow.
Finreth gritted his teeth, unable to say anything on pain of death.
His father turned back to the paintings, “with all the paintings in here, we won’t even need to get you a dowry sorted for when suitors come for you.” He shook his head again and his eyes closed. He opened his mouth again to speak when a shout shook everyone from their thoughts.
“THE QUEEN!” They all jerked towards the door as a servant went running down the hallway shouting. “SOMEONE, PLEASE! THE QUEEN!”
Elganor stepped forward and gripped Finreth’s arm firmly. “We’ll continue this later.” He let his son go and disappeared up the stairs, followed by Galan quickly at his heels.
Leila looked up just slightly from the floor, “I’m so-”
“Get out.” Finreth’s voice was a whisper.

Leila sucked in her lips, tears forming in her eyes, but she stood and ran out the doorway, leaving Finreth alone in his destroyed room. He wanted to sink to his knees, but something pulled at him - he needed to see his mother. She was ill and she would need help. He gathered himself and went running for the stairs behind everyone else.

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

Finreth sat alone in his mother’s bedroom next to her body.
Her corpse.

He swallowed at the word. He was not a man to cry about anything before, but he could not stop the tears that fell from his eyes. It seemed like the world was burning alive and no one would be able to save him now.
Finreth welcomed whatever his father planned to do to him once this all settled. One thing was for sure: Finreth would never paint ever again, he swore on it. He looked at his mother’s still form and swallowed back bitterness.
Something wasn’t right though, and it was something Finreth couldn’t wrap his head around. He had been there with Siun the day Amet died. Galan and Tuon had been fighting in some battle of pride when Amet had started coughing furiously. Finreth had been with his mother. He remembered everything about that day with vivid detail. Amet coughed and coughed until blood came pouring from her mouth and nose. She cried and bled out that way as the plague finally took hold of her completely.

This was far too clean for the plague to have taken his mother. There wasn’t a drop of blood anywhere. Finreth picked up a rag from the floor, the one his mother would use to conceal her coughing, and that, too, was surprisingly clean - only speckled lightly in blood that was already dried completely.
“I see I’m not the only one to sense something’s amiss here.” Siun spoke from the doorway. He nodded at the book on the floor next to Finreth. “I forgot my book in here earlier. I was researching how the plague could’ve taken her life so cleanly.”
“You saw how Amet died.” Finreth’s voice was hoarse. “Does this look like the plague to you?”
Siun said nothing, instead he picked up his book and walked over to the window. He closed his eyes as he saw the destruction spreading across the kingdom, “the prophecy has begun.”
Finreth’s brow furrowed, he knew the scholar wanted him to ask, but he just felt too bitter. “Good. Let the world burn.” He whispered.
“‘For in this age the sky will fall, order will right a vicious wrong, and out of the ashes, one will rise.” Siun repeated the fortune to Finreth, but Finreth only shrugged.
“I care not for your wisdom right now, Siun. It will not bring my mother back.” Finreth looked forward.

“I told you the prophecy only because both of your brothers know it too. Perhaps that is something to think about.” Siun tipped his head down and walked out of the room quietly.
Finreth sat on the information before he sat up completely and looked at his mother skeptically. His eyes searched the bed around her until it fell on the pillow next to her that was slightly crooked.
His mother never touched that pillow, as she hoped his father would return to her bedside one day, and now it lay just slightly crooked. Finreth hesitantly leaned over and picked the pillow up.

He wanted to shake his head and forget the notion completely, however something caught his eye when he moved the pillow.
Blood.
The bottom side of the pillow held speckles of blood, and Finreth’s sorrow immediately twisted to rage. Who could have done such a thing? Galan seemed far too upset and surprised at finding the body of their mother but…
Tuon had ran straight into him as he barrelled out of the doorway of the castle. Finreth clenched his fists. He wanted to scream; and more importantly, he wanted to kill Tuon. He just had to find him first.

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

Galan sucked in a long breath and tried to steady himself. His mother was gone and the kingdom was in ruins. It was a king’s worst nightmare, and he wasn’t even the king yet. Galan sat outside, trying to catch his breath and keep it calm. His brother, Finreth, was stirring up a ruckus and he could just barely hear what was being said.

He wanted to know where Tuon went. Galan sucked in his cheek. Those two were always plotting things against him. He had heard about the way they had met in the library just two days ago. Ever since that day Tuon has been acting weirder and weirder, and now Finreth had caught the strangeness too. Galan clenched his fists.
The world was falling apart and what were they doing? Plotting in the midst of it. He hated them for that. He watched Finreth mount his horse and take off riding like something was after him.
Galan glared at him as he left before throwing himself up and rushing to get his own horse. His brothers would rue the day they decided to plot against him.

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

Tuon was just barely above being a mess when he arrived at the designated meeting point. The stranger he met had to be here - the stranger Tuon had deciphered was the God of Magic and Madness. He knew a god could grant him this power. All it took was the price being paid, and now it had been.
Tuon swallowed hard, but it felt like his throat was collapsing in on itself. His horse shifted uneasily at the magic that filled the area.
Tuon struggled to walk forward, “I know you’re here! I did as you’ve asked. I paid my price!” He shouted at the trees.
“Did you, Tuon? Did you pay a price?!” Tuon turned around suddenly at the familiar voice, spotting Finreth - his bow drawn and aimed right at him. “Because it looks to me like mother paid that price.”

Tuon was collapsing inside, “Finreth… you don’t understand…!”
“I don’t? Oh well that’s fantastic news!” Finreth drew the bow back further as sarcasm dripped from his voice, “please enlighten me, oh filthy murderer.”
Tuon opened his mouth when suddenly he felt a strange wave of magic wash over him. He started laughing, “the unicorns!” He shouted, laughing insanely as he fell to his knees.
Finreth jolted back, startled, but he redrew his bow firmly and glared at Tuon, tears fogging his eyes. “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!”
Another man’s laughter echoed off the trees, “my loyal servant Tuon, you have done well.” It was followed by strange sounds of coughing and cursing. 
Tuon was rocking as he cradled himself, a strange smile pulling on his lips. He giggled at his name being mentioned.

Finreth’s face was slipping more and more into disgust. “Show yourself, you demon!” He snarled as he began to let his eyes search the horizon for any sort of movement.
“Don’t fight it Finreth! Let it happen!” Tuon called his brother with a crazed look in his eyes.
Finreth shook his eyes and backed up slowly, “what have you done, Tuon?!”
The maniacal laughter started up again, but stopped suddenly, “oh dear, Tuon. Your brother doesn’t want to play our game. How unfortunate is that?”
Tuon’s face hardened to a glare directed at Finreth.
“Ah well. Servant, dispose of him. He is of no use to me.” The laughter rang out along the forest.
Finreth’s heart nearly stopped, “Tuon…” He looked at the man he once called his brother. “Please… think clearly!”
Tuon stood up, his head lolling to the side, and he began to walk towards Finreth with malice in his eyes.
“Tuon, PLEASE! Don’t make me-” Finreth couldn’t finish his sentence, his bow was drawn at his brother who was coming towards him. Tuon’s mind was completely gone.
Finreth’s lip quivered and he had trouble keeping his bow steady. “I don’t want to shoot you! Please! TUON!”
The plea fell on deaf ears. Tuon was humming to himself under his breath.
Finreth closed his eyes and knew that he had to do it.
He loosed the arrow, piercing his brother in the chest.
Finreth fluidly drew another arrow, his eyes narrow and watering as he did so. It was an automatic reaction to keep his bow drawn. Tuon clutched at the arrow in his chest, looking at his brother with pangs of clarity in his eyes.
“Why would you do this, brother?!” He cried out as he tried to pull the arrow from him. The clarity in Tuon’s eyes dissipated, and he jolted forward, running at Finreth.
Finreth gritted his teeth, sucking in a harsh breath as he loosed another arrow.
And another.
And another.
Until the man he once called his brother finally stopped moving.
Finreth’s hand came up to his mouth immediately as he looked at the limp body. Tears pricked at his eyes but he sucked in a breath. It was not his brother he killed. His brother had already been dead. His brother would never have murdered their mother. This stranger wearing his brother’s face was vanquished. Finreth looked down solemnly. “Why did you have to do this?” He said quietly.

“I KNEW IT!” Galan threw himself out of the brush, sword in hand. “You two were always plotting something, and now it seems that you’ve finally turned on each other!”
Finreth turned, his brow furrowed, “Galan? What are you-?”
“Finally!” Laughter bubbled into the forest once again. “And here I thought things were going to be boring!”
Finreth looked around the forest again, “SHOW YOURSELF, you MONSTER!”
“Oh! Ooh?” The man’s voice was amused. “I’M the monster? Well I didn’t just murder my own brother, now did I?” The voice laughed wickedly. “What about you, brawny? You’ve had quite a difficult life being the leader of your two imbecile brothers. It must have been hard on you having to fight for your given birthright.”
Galan’s sword lowered and his eyes grew narrow as he looked around the forest. “Who… who are you?”

“Nobody important, just a friend, dear Galan.”
“How do you know my name?!” Galan raised his sword again.
“I know a great deal of things, like how your brothers were plotting to take the throne away from you.” The voice was sliding up and down over octaves as it spoke.
Finreth’s eyes went wide and he turned immediately to look at his brother. “IT’S A LIE, GALAN! Please! Don’t believe-”
Galan had turned on Finreth and pointed his sword at him. “You always were so deceitful, brother!”
“No! Please! Galan I beg you to see clearly!”

It was too late though, for Galan lunged at him and began his attack.
Finreth fought him off as best as he could, but he was only wielding his bow. Finreth was quick enough to dodge most of his brother’s incoming attacks. After a moment, the same magic that filled the air when Tuon lost his mind began to seep over the two remaining brothers. Whispers began to fill the air - each saying different things to the two brothers.
Galan’s face had grown angrier and he dropped his sword, nodding along with the whispers that spoke to him.
Finreth shook his head as he watched Galan; the whispers spoke of how his mother wanted him to be king. Galan was too angry. He couldn’t possibly rule correctly. If he were king no one could tell him what to do or say. He could paint all he wanted.
Finreth gritted his teeth. The mention of painting was enough to cut clarity into him. He would never paint again. He clutched his hands over his ears and resisted the whispers, but Galan had no such clarity. “Galan! Don’t listen to them! They’ll make you mad!” Finreth tried to call out to him.
Galan couldn’t hear his brother, and instead lunged for him, going for this throat.
The two struggled against each other for several minutes. Finreth pleaded the whole time, begging his brother to be rational, but there was no logical part left in his brother. Galan, too, had completely lost his mind.
Finreth felt his heart sink, and he almost wanted to give in and just let himself be killed, but he couldn’t do that. He thought of the kingdom, and how the world would fall apart if he did so. No, the world needed him to keep fighting.
So he did.
He used all of his strength to overpower his brother, who tried desperately to scratch and claw at Finreth’s face, and Finreth held pressure down on his neck until his brother stopped fighting. Finreth’s eyes were closed tightly, unable to stand the horror of what had become of his brothers. Finreth nearly wanted to let the tears fall from his eyes, “you… STUPID, pig-headed, lout! Why couldn’t you listen to me?!” His voice was low and it broke as he spoke. The tears would not come now. Finreth sat numbly next to his older brother’s body while Tuon’s body lay not far from where he sat.
 
Finreth was ready for the magic to swoop in and take him, to end his life and finally put him at rest, but nothing came.
There was a stillness to the forest and the silence was deafening. The only audible thing was Finreth’s ragged breathing.
Suddenly a sharp sound broke the dead silence, as a slow clap began. Out of the shadows a wiry man stepped, and his clapping slowly got faster.

“Ladies and gentlefolk, we have our victor.” The man gave a wild grin.
Finreth didn’t bother to look up at the man who stood on the other side of the lake, he just focused on trying to breathe.
“The KING of Dragon Valley!” The man laughed, and the magic in the air seemed to stiffen. Finreth knew he was the source of all the problems for the last fifty years if not more. A god truly had been toying with all of them.
Finreth didn’t want this. He didn’t want any of it.
“What says our victor?” The man’s voice jolted up an octave as he stepped forward. “Perhaps he-” His voice grew strangled and he fell to his knees. Magical artifacts grew from the ground and created a strange cage around him. He clutched his neck like he was choking. It did not stop him from laughing, “Agony-wony! I’m so glad you’ve joined our party!” He coughed and laughed again.
Another form came from the woods, this one was dressed in all white. His face was severe and he walked gracefully, speaking as he took each step towards the cage. “By the Order of the Pantheon, under the grace of the World’s Essence... I, Agonin Madere - God of Order and Restoration - charge you, Zachurr Odaline - God of Magic and Madness - with treason of the highest offense. This includes, but is not limited to, the withholding of the magical barrier, thereby not performing the duties as outlined to you by the order of which we both belong, for preventing the gods and others access to their magic and by willfully ignoring the summons to trial to face your misdeeds. The punishment for which, in accordance with laws and traditions of old, is death.”
Zachurr gritted his teeth, “I demand you let me out of this foul cage immediately!” He screeched.
Agonin breathed evenly and let a small smile catch his lips. “I will enjoy this.” He stated levelly. He held out his hand and a light flashed from each of the beams that were holding Zachurr in place.

Finreth, who had watched the whole scene unnoticed, wanted to shield his eyes but he was frozen in place with his eyes locked on the two gods. The lights grew brighter and brighter and Finreth began to squint, raising his hands to shield his eyes, yet not cover them completely. The light grew so bright until suddenly it all sucked in, leaving a very strange calm that rested over the forest.
Finreth looked around, confused, but before he could really grasp what had happened a powerful explosion sent him flying backwards along with the bodies of his brothers.
 
Finreth’s ears were ringing and the only clear noise he could hear was the sound of his ragged breathing along with the pounding of his heart. His whole body ached. He opened his eyes slightly and could see nothing but ash remaining where the Mad God had been, the cage that was holding him in place had been completely destroyed and reduced to ash as well. There was something moving though, and Finreth almost couldn’t see it. It was like a glittering, translucent serpent that danced around the God of Order, swirling in the air with it’s mouth open, fangs exposed. Finreth felt fear in him when it spotted him and began to dart directly at him like a snake on the attack.
Finreth threw his arms up to shield his face but nothing could stop it. The serpent moved faster than light and pierced into him and his heart stopped.

His blood began to boil in his veins. The pain was completely unbearable. Finreth writhed and screamed. His vision had gone completely blurry, and his hands clutched at his scalp - his fingernails raking through to his skull. The magic twisted and distorted him, filling him and his mind with thoughts he could not control.
“NO!” He screamed against it.
Screeching. Dancing. The smell of lavender over a fire. Howling to the moon.
Violet eyes of a woman he had not met yet.
His skin bleached out, his ears sharpened to a point, his hair curled on end, and his eyes glowed bright orange with power.

Suddenly everything grew silent in his head, and the world seemed to glow around him.
Then everything went black.

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

There were voices whispering in his ears, they were all talking too fast and he could only get glimpses of them. He groaned and rubbed his throbbing head. He opened his eyes and realized there was no one else around him. The voices were in his head, and panic set in. He gritted his teeth and his mind screamed internally, “GO AWAY!”
It did. His mind grew suddenly silent at his command and he swallowed and looked around nervously, half expecting the voices to swarm him once again, but all was quiet and calm.
He pushed himself off of his stomach and onto his knees before staring down at his hands - these were not hands he was familiar with. His skin was perfectly white, and his hands trembled as he came to that realization. He idly touched his face with his hand, his fingers running up to his ear which was now pointed and different. This couldn’t be happening. He squeezed his fists with distress and the grass around him died in response. His eyes grew wide.
“That did not take very long.” The man in all white - Agonin, he remembered, spoke now. “What is your name, son?”

He sat quietly and stared at Agonin who had started to walk his way. What was his name?
Finreth, he recalled to himself. He spared a glance at his brothers and frowned. No. That wasn’t his name. Finreth was a painter. Finreth was a brother. Finreth was a prince.
He was none of those things now.
His mind flashed briefly to his mother.
Queen Araiel Glebaal, wife of King Eglanor Glebaal, ruler of Dragon Valley, originating from the noble house Majnun of Galia. Mother of three, and killed far too early. He almost couldn’t stand to think of it any longer.
“Majnun.” His voice was raspy as he spoke. “My name is Majnun.”
Agonin nodded and held out his hand to him. “A pleasure to meet you, Majnun.” He said levelly.

Majnun eyed him carefully, but took his offer for help to his feet - fearing whatever else he might kill with his magic accidentally. He was surprised how easy it was to move. It felt like he weighed nothing at all. He could feel something bubbling in his throat, like a strange laughter, but he suppressed it and coughed instead. Agonin was looking at him intensely. “My name is Agonin.” He stated matter-of-factly. “I ask that you come with me, we have much to sort out.”
Majnun looked at him with narrow eyes, “just where are we-” his voice slid up an octave and his eyes went wide at the lack of control he had over his voice, “-going?” He struggled to finish.

Agonin was unphased. “I’m going to take you before the pantheon and introduce you to everyone, then I will help you get settled in to your new position.”
Majnun’s face twitched against his will and he frowned harder. He knew what Agonin was talking about, but at the same time there was still a piece of him that was in denial. “Position?” He asked nervously.
“As the God of Magic and Madness,” Agonin spoke with even tone, like the unshakable force he was.
Majnun could not help but look down and shake his head, letting out a harsh breath. “A god?”
Agonin nodded, and waved his hand, opening up a portal and ushering Majnun that way. “Welcome to godhood, Majnun.”

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

This is where our story ends.
The world had been crumbling under the weight of magical strain as the god of such magic had not been permitting it through. The God of Order finally pinned down and rectified the wrongs of the world, and in the wake bore forth a new god to fill the void left by the death of his predecessor. Dragon Valley would no longer be suffering from the chaos of wild magic, untamed. Instead, Dragon Valley would fall into political chaos. Following the death of his wife and sons, Eglanor would tumble into darkness. He lit the castle on fire and watched it burn to ash while he, and many others, were still inside of it.

It seemed all would be lost - however, one servant snuck away in the dead of night with a painting tucked thoroughly under her arm. She did not look back to see the mob that was coming towards the castle, nor the fire that had engulfed everything she ever knew.

Crown Prince Galan and Tuon would never live to see another day. And Finreth?
Well, as far as anyone else was concerned, Finreth died in the explosion resulting in the death of a god, and the birth of another. Majnun would grow to be one of the most powerful beings in existence and all would tremble at his presence.

The man who rose from the ashes.

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

‘For in this age the sky will fall, order will right a vicious wrong, and out of the ashes, one will rise.

Offline oshizu

  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 5597
    • oshizu's asylum
Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part Four]
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2016, 09:17:32 PM »
I'm just speechless!
I read Part 4 late last night before going to bed but couldn't respond. I still feel somewhat dazed by the story now.
Majnun's origin story makes so much sense in light of later developments--his love of paints and his at times ambivalence toward his godhood (which I discussed a little in your Reaper thread).

You did totally catch me by surprise--the glimpse of those legs earlier led me on a false trail of sorts.
I'd wondered briefly why Finreth had fewer facial shots before--I was so caught off guard by his rebirth!

At the start of Part Four, Finreth is heading toward a fire, which never gets mentioned again.
I sit back and patiently await your epilogue.

Foolish me, believing a few days ago that I couldn't be any more obsessed with Majnun!

Offline LivvieLove

  • Queen of Mush
  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 2372
  • "Sh! Be quiet! The nutters are out to get me."
Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part Four]
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2016, 10:02:12 PM »
I'm just speechless!
I read Part 4 late last night before going to bed but couldn't respond. I still feel somewhat dazed by the story now.
Majnun's origin story makes so much sense in light of later developments--his love of paints and his at times ambivalence toward his godhood (which I discussed a little in your Reaper thread).

You did totally catch me by surprise--the glimpse of those legs earlier led me on a false trail of sorts.
I'd wondered briefly why Finreth had fewer facial shots before--I was so caught off guard by his rebirth!

At the start of Part Four, Finreth is heading toward a fire, which never gets mentioned again.
I sit back and patiently await your epilogue.

Foolish me, believing a few days ago that I couldn't be any more obsessed with Majnun!
You have NO idea how hard it was to keep this a secret. I was dying. Words can't even express.
This story has been on my mind for a long, long time. It'll probably become relevant in the Reapers later (as Anne will likely question Majnun about his past) and now anyone who wants to know about it, can!
So when I started this I scraped off his makeup and changed his skin and eye color and I was plesantly surprised by how different he looked - however he STILL looked like Majnun to me. My boyfriend was blown away and couldn't even recognize him, but I was too afraid someone would sniff him out even still, so I avoided too many facial shots of him.

At the start of Part Four, Finreth is heading toward a fire, which never gets mentioned again.

Finreth was going to warn his father about the fires that had started in Dragon Valley (he could see them in the distance). They all got distracted, but it's mentioned once again with Siun:
Quote
Siun said nothing, instead he picked up his book and walked over to the window. He closed his eyes as he saw the destruction spreading across the kingdom, “the prophecy has begun.”

The fire Finreth saw was the explosion noted here:
Quote
Outside, another explosion occurred further into town. Tuon's actions had triggered events that would change the world forever.
The fall had begun, and nothing could stop it.

Sorry if that wasn't clear!

Offline oshizu

  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 5597
    • oshizu's asylum
Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part Four]
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2016, 10:22:27 PM »
"Majnun looked at him with narrow eyes."
After reaching the end of Part 4, I looked back through all the screenshots and loved the image below the above quote the best.
It looks the most, and yet just hints, like the Majnun who stalked Anne!

Really fabulous storytelling, Livvielove!
And the screenshots were, each and every one, magnificient!

Offline LivvieLove

  • Queen of Mush
  • Watcher
  • ******
  • Posts: 2372
  • "Sh! Be quiet! The nutters are out to get me."
Re: Risen From the Ashes: A Short Story [Part Four]
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2016, 03:21:35 AM »
"Majnun looked at him with narrow eyes."
After reaching the end of Part 4, I looked back through all the screenshots and loved the image below the above quote the best.
It looks the most, and yet just hints, like the Majnun who stalked Anne!

Really fabulous storytelling, Livvielove!
And the screenshots were, each and every one, magnificient!
Thank you so much! Majnun's not a half-bad looking guy when he's all cleaned up. Shame he never will be completely.  ::) Thankfully Anne doesn't mind him that way, right?  :-X I'm working on the epilogue as we speak. I should have that up by tomorrow (hopefully). It's been such a blast writing this. It was so hard to keep it a secret, but now that it's done I feel like I can shout it to the heavens!
Thank you again, for all the kind words and great comments to my stories! It's so much fun getting to see what people like or don't like about what I write and people getting to enjoy the things that go on in my head!
Hopefully I did Majnun some justice in his backstory. I'm just so excited that I managed to write all of that without anyone sniffing him out! That was my main goal, so mission accomplished!

 

anything