Sunday, May 24, 2009

Avari in the Court of the King, Arc part 2

The formless voice, although trying to dissuade her growing anxiety, was unsuccessful. Avari had always been the embodiment of confidence, not ever consciously experiencing fear before cannot find it in herself to move at all. It was as if the void of her consciousness, her history had always laid before her as a vast chasm that was now about to flood with an ocean of self-knowledge that threatened to drown her. “Don’t you remember me…us…your life here, in Khepathia?”

At the ancient word, the room began to glow with such brightness Avari had to shield her face. Once adjusted to the new light, she saw the room was populated by Eladrin nobels, Tiefling diplomats, Titan guards and in the shades acting as bodiless servants to all. The sun filled the room with color through stained glass, vaulted windows. Looking out the window and perceiving the ancient City come to life under a brilliant azure sky Avari whispers, “How could this be? The Sky…the most brilliant blue I have ever witnessed.” A young eladrin boy suddenly pushed her to the ground in a playful manner and runs towards the voice laughing, “Slow poke, I will be father’s favorite by sun down with you day dreaming out the window again.” The urge to run after the boy was too great, and Avari forgot all about the troubling break time and space that she just witnessed.

A large, raven-haired man stooped down to grab the running boy into his arms and effortlessly threw him in the air, catching him and swinging him with such deft force, a gust of wind pushed through the hall. “Again Poppa! Again!” the boy cried. A woman next to them with graceful features and bright, grey eyes catches Avari’s gaze and says “Avari Sweetheart, what is it? What are you staring at?” the woman called out to her. Hearing her own name cemented the reality for Avari as she flung herself into her mother’s arms.

Surrounded by her family, Avari’s memories poured into her mind. Next to her was her father holding her twin brother high in the air. A baby cried grabbing her mother’s attention, moving slowly over to the basket next to the throne was her brother, Quendi, named after a distant uncle that no one liked so he was called lovingly by his nickname, Blendhavin. The fear left Avari, for the King and the Queen were here parents and this was truth and the selfknowledge would not swallow her and she could be safe.

The doors at the other end of the room opened and a quick silence fell over the hall. An enormous cloaked figure shuffled into the room and approached the throne, uncovering his head from under the hood, Avari saw that the figure had the head of an enormous bear. The bear headed newcomer bowed before the King. From his runed robes, Avari identified the newcomer as a Wayfarer archmage, a court magician. “Great King Unonbate, I must request your ear in private chambers, as I have news of Xengxui the Black.”

With the echo of the name the crowd at once began frantically whispering to each other. “SedNa, my friend, I asked you before to not mention his name in the presence of my children. You know of my children’s nightmares…” turning to the an eladrin woman dressed in purple, “Moira, please take the children upstairs and get them ready for their lessons.”

Avari and her brother were ushered from the courtroom by Myri through the back door. Moira was the a court historian and Avari’s teacher and her Regnali, an eladrin word that means second mother. The day turned to night before she saw a member of her family again. Dressed in bed clothes set out by Myri, the door opened and her father walked in, “Ava, you look as though the skyfolk plagued your dreams again. What ails you this night? I hope it is not SedNa’s slip in court today.”

“I am lost father. One minute I was somewhere else, some time else, and then I am here, with you and mother like nothing happened. I feel as if my soul is not my own.”

Looking into his daughter’s eyes as she lay on the bed, leaning over her, he said words full of care “Some questions that can only be answered with questions. All Eladrin Raelfaen souls are on their own journey. I do not know of what you are speaking. Phrase your words carefully other wise you might not get the answers you were looking for.”

Avari took a moment to absorb her father’s warning before saying “ I am in a great mystery father. I am not sure where I belong.”

At that he smiled and hugged his daughter “You belong with me. Maybe you should look into the word sent to find your answers, now sleep, tomorrow is a big day.” He seemed to be totally unaware of Avari’s journey through time or the way he called to her in the Shadow hall. “Oh, I almost forgot…I know it isn’t officially you and your brother’s birthday but if you won’t tell, I won’t either.” A small box materialized on Avari’s lap, “go ahead, open it.” It didn’t take much for Avari to tear through the silk paper to unveil a small wooden box whose lid had a five pointed star in a circle engraved in it. “When you need answers, my little questioner, they will be found in that box. Now go to bed before your mother has my head when you sleep through the party tomorrow.”

Avari about to protest the fact she wasn’t tired, was silenced when her father gently put his hand to her eyes and called sleep into her soul. She slept soundly until a conversation in the adjacent hall awakened her. She recognized the characters talking as her father, mother, Roskilde and two others, knights she suspected. Putting an ear to the door, all she could discern was the name Xengxui the Black, her own name said a couple of time and some ritual coming called, the Gathering of the Court of the Four Stars.

cowritten with Keli Rivers

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