Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Mother's Concern, Avari Arc Part 3

The days passed by too quickly for Avari. She had forgotten how easy it was to be around other eladrin having spent too much time in the company of men. The Castle of Old Khepathia is among the grandest compounds ever conceived with miles of hallways large enough for the royal elephants to parade down and topiary gardens tended to by armies of pollenbright fairies, the place itself was the best kind of dream with every luxury imaginable. A wonderland for any child and to Avari it was home, familiar and safe. The thing most remarkable to Avari about being here was how startling it was that her family meant so much to her. She found emotions came easy here, laughing with joy was not something she did much of in Gavin Wel. Hours were spent in the gardens playing with her brother, studying ancient books with Myri in the Royal Library, sitting at her father’s feet while he tended to courtly matters, watching her mother get her hair brushed by Myri as she longingly gazed into the water with what might have seemed like sadness if it wasn’t for her dreaming songs to her young son as he shifted in his crib.

It wasn’t until the sixth day in the Ivory City of old Khepathia that a doom set in and the mystery reared itself to consciousness again. After her lessons with Moira, she ran into the bear headed SedNa in an expansive hall outside the library doors. The archmage took her hand and placed in it a small amulet of cold, silver stone. In a whisper the wizard spoke without meeting her eyes, “You will need this in the coming war princess. I have seen it. You are the only one who can save all that is from what is to be.” Before he could finish the were interrupted by the terrifying scream of Avari’s mother from the grand ballroom.

The two ran into the ballroom to see a dark figure with a knife to the queen’s throat. SedNa yelled for the guards and then continued, addressing the man dressed in black threatening the queen’s life, “Xengxui! you have no business here! There is nothing more to discuss, this was settled years ago.”

“Be still magician!” Lotan’s voice was full of madness. “Tiamat. Sister. I have come here only for your safety, you must see. Since you will not go peaceably, I will take you. You will return to Dilmun this night, war is coming! None will survive.”

In a surprising show of strength and power, the queen bent back into the hold of her brother flipped him over her back and then kicked the knife across the room. “You have lived too long on that moon too long brother. I have not been there since Avari’s birth and will not go back now. Your mind doesn’t know what is real. You must stop listening to the songs of the North Wind!”

“I know of what I speak of Tiamat!” he yelled. Xengxui was sweating and Avari could see he was hurt, crouching over as if his stomach gave him pain. “You left me and your birth right…to walking on legs like them. You will not be able to hide who you are forever. This triviality of a life you live…less than grains of sand, the mortal days. Even your half bred children will see the end of their lives before you grow a day older! This is not our war, but that of the insects crawling out from the swamps. Be done with this and return home. Now I beg you one last time…” Ending he rant he straightened himself with the threat and leveled a wand at his sister. “Leave all behind and return to your true form or you will become a twisted vision of your true self.”

“I can never forget how you banished me from my home, left me for nothing and now you say you know what is best for me!” Tiamat yelled. Avari noticed the walls enclosing on the fighting siblings and the sky darkened. Great spirits of wind and smoke circled the ballroom to witness the event. “You are a murderer, King of the Moon! I will not forget that.” The queen materialized a darkwood staff from the air and continued “these half breeds as you called them are the only reason you are not dead already.”

“How, by your husband, the Unonbate? I have him sealed from this place with blood. If you will not go with me, then I shall kill you to save us all from what I know you will become!” With that, a burst of dark energy full of skulls and fire erupted from the tip of Xengxui’s wand. In a movement as quick as thought the queen snatched Avari into her arms and a ball of blue light formed to protect them both from the infernal attack. SedNa was not so protected and in a moment of anguish was instantly incinerated.

“Brother. You are Mad! My destiny lies here! You are a fool!” A bolt of arching electricity stretched across the room from Tiamat’s staff, knocking Xengxui through an enormous stained glass window. Just as the glass is breaking Xengxui throws a poisoned dagger aiming at the Queen, a last and vengeful act…

The wand he had been holding went skittering across the floor. A tiny dragon appeared from Xengxui’s sleeve as he went flying back through the window, a creature whose purpose was to retrieve the wand. Avari too went running after it, but the blazing eyed dragon got there first. Avari grasped a water basin on the table next to her and charged the impish creature that seemed too pleased with itself to notice the little girl sneaking up on it. Avari graceful tumbled and trapped the tiny dragon under the inverted bowl. Grabbing the bowl’s lid, Avari turns it over and traps the creature with the wand and returns to her mother. She sees her mother slumped and the window sill looking out to make sure Xengxui did not return. “Mother, mother, please get up, we have to leave to find father. Mother, please.” A trickle of blood at the edge of her mouth. Turning her over, Avari saw the poisoned dagger in her mother’s gut.

With pained breath, the last words Avari heard her mother say, “I meant what I said. You are my destiny. I know the secret to your mystery. I brought you back to make you remember where it is you came from and what you must do. It was I too that sent you so far into the future to begin with. That is a time of great portend. I will be something else then, you will not recognize me. You are the key to all of this. You are the daughter of Bahamut and Tiamat. You have the power of the ages…the bloodline of the dragon gods…the ability to move through the planes…find what was lost here today.” Tiamat raises a piece of paper and it ignites turning to ash and with a breath, Avari moves through a portal.

Avari awoke in her bed back in Niaskatel as if the experience was a dream. Struggling to bring the room into focus, she sits up wondering if it was magic of a trickster that caused such images. Eladrin don’t believe in dreams as being something different than reality. Getting out of bed to go inspect the bookcase, Avari knocked over a glass basin on the floor, an angry, small dragon emerged and flapped wildly in all directions. Picking up her uncle’s wand the memory returned in full. Looking out of her window she saw then world layered on top of each other like geologic strata made of consciousness constructs. Yes. Answers are coming. Answers that will save them all.

cowritten with Keli Rivers

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