“Well, well, look who’s here. You could have been anywhere else in the world, but you chose to be here with me. Fate has chosen me to be your guide, through a world of great chaos and equal beauty. So I welcome you to the World of Erede, and our story begins with one little Princess.”
It was a day like any other in the city of Alms. The trees whispered quietly amongst themselves, as the fairies danced with daisies in the field. Sounds of drunken dwarves echoed throughout the taverns. While the city’s ruling council argued over new laws and taxes. The local shops were filled with maidens shopping for new robes and quivers for their husbands. Even the young satyrs lie amongst the flowers waiting for new nymphs to emerge. One little princess, impatiently waits in her father’s study as his meetings seems to drone on forever. Her eagerness to leave is only out done by her interest in her father’s affairs. Slowly leaving the castle’s study she tip-toed softly down the long ebony and jade engraved hallway. Only to stop and admire the portraits of her mother and grandfather that hangs in memoriam to them. Her heartbeat quickens as she realizes how scary the Great Hall seems even in daylight. Sounds of indistinct voices echo throughout the halls, as smells of dry oak and jasmine saturate her senses. The distance between her father’s study and the Great Council Chamber seem to only increase with every step she takes. Voices once indistinct now penetrate through the council door. Her tiny frame is easily eclipsed by the shear immensity of the Great Council’s Door. She notices her father words, now famous from his coronation are transcribed above the door. This reminds of the languages studies she had the day before. “Am sep pek su”, she mumbles to herself as she tries to remember what her teacher said about the of old Almerian language.
“Reverse your thinking then you’ll see,” she reminds herself as her teacher’s voice echoes in her head.
With a smile and a gleam in her eye she now knows the meaning of the quote. Now with an even more eager heart she simply can’t wait any longer. Her father must know what she has learned. Her little hands barely grasp the handle as it seems to be craved for giants among men. The huge ebony and marble engraved door didn’t budge an inch as tried with all her strength. Anger and frustration now fueled her every desire. Becoming more impatience with every failed attempt at the door her anger grew. Not knowing that for her people anger is not necessarily an emotion they should get heavily involved in. She ignored all her father teachings about calmness and patience. Her beautiful brown eyes grew black with rage, her hair ridged as it stands alone unhindered by gravity. Now only the door is important to her and it must be destroyed! Her tiny hands gripped the large marble door knob, and with one mighty tug she slung the huge door open nearly ripping it off its hinges. Her father stood in shock as the once loud council chamber now stands silent in awe.
“Father!” she yelled nearly out of breath.
“Calm yourself Neferi”, said her father in a broad but yet peaceful tone.
“What can be so important that you interrupt me so?” he demands as the council looks on complete astonishment.
“I know what am sep pek su mean”
“Well tell me my dear daughter what does it mean?” he asked again in a shockingly calm tone as the council looks on.
“My peace keep us”, she said with a smile on her face.
“Do you know what that quote means my dear?”
“No.”, she said as she shook her head.
“I thought as much go back to the study and think about it!”
With a bewildered look upon her face she couldn’t understand why her father didn’t acknowledge her achievement. With a heavy heart she slowly made her way back down the long hallway. She began to cycle her father’s words and the day’s events in her mind. Her slow pace quicken as she rushes back to the study to think about what has happen.
Meanwhile back in the Council Chamber:
King Nexikia, deeply annoyed by the events that just transpired composes himself. He quickly straightens the slight wrinkles in his ebony, silk and jade embroidered robe. Which has been a symbol of his family since the Negr-Alfr, the black elf clan, settled this land half nearly a millennium ago. He takes his long black hair, which is only accented by two playful braids his daughter twisted a few hours early, and brushes it back in place. With a deep breath he centers himself and takes a sit.
“Well gentlemen where were we?” asked the king.
“The Home Coming Ceremony for our troops in the North your majesty”, said a council member.
“I was under the impression that General Jonathia doesn’t want a ceremony”, said another council member.
“Regardless of what the General wants, our troops shall and will be welcome home with open arms. If there are no more agendas for today I would like to adjourned this meeting” said the king.
“There is one more thing we would like to address as a whole your majesty”, said a council man nervously fixing the selves on his green and gold embroidered robe.
“What would be that be?” said the King in a slightly annoyed tone.
“Your daughter, her powers need to be control” said a councilman arrogantly.
“My daughter is my concern and MY concern alone!” said the King as this council meeting is quickly adjourned.
In a state of total disbelief the king leaves the meeting with a heavy heart. He knows that the events that occurred today cannot easily be down played. His daughter must be control, but he alone must find and morally civil way to do so. The ways of old Almeria cannot be allowed to rear its ugly head again. When he was a young Almerian not much older than his daughter is now. He saw the way the Old Kings attempted to control power. Ancient rituals and rites plagued his very existence. Only he, Jonathia, and a few other children survived the trials that are only now being deemed as illegal. Hanging on to the hope, that through peace and serenity can his daughter emotion be tame. She must understand the consequences and most importantly make her own choices. Suddenly a brief moment of clarity and much needed smile graced his face (Am sep pek su), he can’t believe his daughter actually translated the quote. He makes his way to the study his daughter approaches him with a rather sad expression on her face.
“What is wrong my dear?” he asked.
“I broke the Great Chamber door, and I still don’t know what the quote mean” she said with a slightly disappointed sniffle.
“The quote isn’t important now, and the door can be fixed”
“Okay”, said the princess with a smile.
“We still have to find you the appropriate outfit for tomorrow’s ceremony and there still lots of work that must be done”
The city bustled with activities as the shop owners prepare the last minute sales for the soldiers return. Princess Neferi and her personal assistant Joyrea, one of the few local Almerians to have and royal appointment, search the local shop for the perfect outfits for the ceremony. Fashion in Almeria is the top mainstay of the local economy, and females especially, The Fairies, are the heavy partakers. The duo spends majority of the day scouring every dress shop and jewelry maker for the princess’s outfit. Joyrea is a little lost for words as seems that the princess has no interest in shopping at all.
“Neferi, I don’t understand how I can walk into a shop and find ten outfits and you can’t find one”, said Joyrea with a highly annoyed look on her face.
“I’m not a fairy you know”, said the princess.”The colors are too bright, skirts too short, and the ruffles are way big for me.”
“Ugh, you sound like your father right now”, Joyrea said while shaking her head.
Hours passed by before the princess found something they both can agree on. She came out of the dressing room with long black and jade embroidered evening gown, ebony slippers, with an opal and jade broach.
“Finally! We can leave now “, said Joyrea impatiently filing away at her nails.
With her job finally done Joyrea summoned a little magic and gently whisked herself and the princess back to the castle. The king overjoyed with his daughters return finishes up the final security precaution and preparation for tomorrow events. Guards and royal escorts were sent out to each of the Seven Kingdoms of Almeria, because not only will he be attending, but every royal family will be welcoming the Warriors of Alms home.
The king ordered the best ceremony organizers from around the kingdom. With the most eclectic group of decorators and designer at his disposal he knew this would be a grand occasion. While the designers made the finishing touches to the decoration the king’s royal messenger return with some rather urgent news. Nexikia braces himself as the messenger declared that the two High Royal Houses would be arriving early, and they have an urgent matter to discuss with him. Without any time to prepare the king ordered that the Great Council Chamber be prepared at once. Yet, before he could even make it up the long crystal stair case, the skies blacken, and sounds of thunder echoed across the land. Surprised, but yet a little annoyed he knew that only one person would dare make such an entrance. Yarmond, “The High Manaite King and ruler of the Second High House of Alms” is how he addresses himself to anyone willing to listen. Finally as the darkness begins to fade as a deep heavy fog spreads though out the castle.
“Yarmond what warrants such a visit?” asked Nexikia as the shapeless fog took the form of a man.
“I spoke with King Lamergey, Aveon Chief and ruler of the Third High House of Alms, and we came up with a rather unique proposition for you”
“Where is the lovely Lady Yddrasi?”
“Why home of course theirs and certain god masquerading as me lately trying to gain her affection”
“That should be expected you married a Nymph Goddess no less”, said the king in a joking tone.
Before the conversation could escalate any further the two kings were caught off guard by an intense amount of heat. A heat so intense in fact that wizard Yarmond had to erect a great ice wall to tone it down. Who would dares inner the King’s court unannounced they thought to themselves?
“My humble apologies dear Kings”, said the entity in a soft feminine voice.
“Queen Phenica? We were expecting King Lamergey”
“New hatchlings, he simply couldn’t tear himself away from the little darling”, she stated with a smile as the heat dissipated.
She slowly uncovers from the magical heat resistant sarong that hides her very shapely figure and her dark bronze skin stone. The mark of the fire bird stretches from her neck down to her feet and covers places only King Lamergey has been lucky enough to see. Her body is cover with a beautiful red and gold living armor, specially made for her at that seems to grow as she does.
“Sorry about the walls and the statues” she said with great sincerity as she looked at the scorched walls and melted statues.
“Better fire than wind damaged it took the kingdom an entire month to recover from Lamergey last unannounced visit “said Nexikia playful mocking his massive wing span.
“So what‘s this proposition I’m just dying to know”, Nexikia said sarcastically.
“Well since this ceremony celebrates unity, troops home coming, and the unifying of Alms I…” Yarmond stated while being rudely interrupted by Queen Phenica.
“We- would like for you to reopen negotiation with your cousin in the Northern Province”, she stated not wanting to be left out.
“Why would I do such a thing?” Nexikia said in a loathsome tone.
“I can see that Black Elf blood of yours boiling Nexikia give us a second to explain before you say no” said Yarmond in an optimistic tone.
“Think about it this ceremony celebrates the UNITY of the great cities”, Phenica stated. “Why celebrate the continent as a whole”
The secret negotiation made Nexikia feel a little betrayed. Even if he could bring himself to fathom such a deal the Negr-Alfr would revolt an overthrow him at the first signed of what they considered weakness. “Your deals are not my concern”, Nexikia declared. “You should think before you make promises you can’t keep.
“How could you be so cold Nexikia we you and I spring from the same life tree?” Yarmond asked. “I haven’t spoken to other half of my family in years, since WE chose to aid your all those years ago.”
“Cold!? At least your “family” didn’t try to enslave your people, and justify killing thousands of newborns in the name of racial purity”, Nexikia expressed with much distain.
His heart saddens as he remembers stories about his grandfather struggles and heartbreaking tales about how his father weakness delivered his own people into the hand of its enslavers. If it weren’t for his wife Neferia, of which his daughter is name, and her father’s guidance he wouldn’t be king he is today. “Okay, if the Cauc-Alfr king comes here I will entertain such a notion.”Nexikia said with a rather sinister smile upon his face.
“That’s too easy Nexikia what do you have planned?” Yarmond asked. “I demand to know!”
“Demand all you want Yarmond, but bring him, here, now or no deal!”
“You’re putting me in an awkward position here Nexikia”, Yarmond express with deep concern.
“Now Yarmond!” Nexikia demanded while stroking his beard.
Without any words Yarmond vanished. Queen Phenica stood there in disbelief, as the deal that would bring her people much needed educational aid and supplies now lies in jeopardy.
“King of the First House indeed”, Phenica said shaking her head in disappointment.
“I don’t need this from you right now Phenica” Nexikia stated.
“Your anger is putting our kingdoms in danger!” proclaimed Phenica.”Our kingdoms need peace right now Nexikia and you’re going to throw it all away!”
Her heart disappointed Phenica hurried back to her husband to give him some urgent and rather bad news. With his royal court finally empty Nexikia set out to put his plan into motion. With great haste he rushes to the upstairs balcony just beyond the Great Council Chamber. It was normally used for peaceful ceremonial announcement, but not today. The sun radiates a fiery reddish orange hue as the King looked over his kingdom. With a fierceness in his eyes rarely seen expect in times of war, the normally calm king was lost in emotion. Thoughts of his wife’s murder, ancient war rites, and personal sacrifices bombarded his mind. His eyes grew black with anger as an intense since of pride overwhelmed his soul. From deep within he summoned a roar so mighty it seemed to shake the heavens itself. His daughter, Princess Neferi, looks on in astonishment as she has never seen her father act in such a manner. In fact, it frightens her so much that she ran back into the Council Chamber and locked the newly hinged door. The roar, so primal in essence awakens something deep inside the hearts of all the Negr-Alfr. All within an ear-shot stop everything and converged to the Kings central location. Even the Great General Jonathan, a full day’s trip away, was not immune to the King’s influence as he ordered his mean to increase their pace. Nexikia look upon his land as the silhouette of thousands of “black elves” approached the castle and he was pleased.
Meanwhile, as Yarmond stands at the passageway to Uriseas’, king of the Cauc-Alfr, kingdom he contemplates whether or not to continue. In his heart he knows that Nexikia wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize the peace of his kingdom, but the ties to Cauc-Alfr clan can’t easily be forgiven. Yarmond fears that if he can’t negotiate a lasting truce between these two kingdoms he very well might not be able to see his relatives again without being branded a traitor. He must find a way to make this work for the sake of himself and peace. Intense light imitates from the passage way as if Dagyri, God of Daylight, protects this land himself. Yarmond quickly surrounds himself in a blanket of thick fog to shield himself from the magical light.
He slowly makes his way through the passage narrowly avoiding the trap and obstacle the block his path. It seems that the passage was created to keep the light weary black elves from entering without a quick change of mind. With and not so easy exit from the passage he finds himself in the mountainous landscapes of Dagy-Sala, the Cauc-Alfr Kingdom of Light and Soul, the beauty of the snowcapped mountains, and rolling hills of freshly green plains nearly distracted him from his mission. With a high sense of urgency teleports himself to the Court of King Uriseas hoping his unannounced return wouldn’t be taken as act of hostility. He reminded invisible and hides behind a pillar as the guards patrol bye. Slowly he make his way toward the throne room, suddenly King Uriseas grabs him by the shoulders from behind nearly scaring him half to death.
“King Uriseas, I almost forgot about how keen your senses were” stated Yarmond while quickly catching his breath.
“Well is Nexikia open for negotiation?”
“Well about that, see Uriseas he kind of wants your there now”
“Ahh no worries, I figured as much, the sins of my fathers can’t easily be washed away”, Uriseas stated.”Let’s get this over with shall we.”
Without any moment hesitation Yarmond teleports themselves back to Nakt-Sala, the Negr-Alfr kingdom of Darkness and Soul, where King Nexikia awaits their return. Yarmond and Uriseas both take a moment to gather their thoughts as they look upon the kingdom from the cliffs just outside the city’s boundaries. Nexikia’s castle stands proudly above the huge lush forest. A dense fog, which is seems a gift from the Nakti the Goddess of Night, protects the elves from the harsh sunlight fades away as dusk slowly approaches. Meanwhile back in the Council Chamber Neferi set curled up in her father’s chair shaking not saying a word. Her father’s roar echo deep within her heart, but she could not bring herself to listen her fear was just too great. Suddenly she felt a feeling of great calm as everything around her became a silent and still. An entity without form or shape emerged from the silence and hovered above the chambers table. Neferi stared in quiet awe as the figure takes a feminine form. It slowly began to form and hand from its darkness and extends it towards Neferi.
“Don’t be afraid child”, said the entity in a voices sounding eerily like her mother.
“Mother?” Neferi asked quietly while slightly shaking.
“No child, but trust I mean you no harm”, said the entity.
Neferi curiosity deepens as she gripped the entities’ hand.
“Be not afraid child, you father needs your strength now”, declared the entity.
“My strength, but I’m not strong”, said Neferi with and confused look on her face.
It smiled as it removed a book from the cases aligned against the wooden jade colored walls.
While the books floats toward them it opens as the pages slowly began to turn. The princess grabs the book from the air and noticed it was filled with royal decrees from her father.
“Why did you show me?” asked Neferi.
“You needed and answer to your father question”, said the entity.”Well the answer lies here see for yourself.”
With nothing else left to say the entity disappeared quietly. She desperately strums through her father’s endless and boring royal decrees searching the answer she so longed for. Meanwhile both Yarmond and Uriseas teleports back to Nexikia’s royal court. Only to see that it has been surrounded by thousand elves. Excitement pours throughout the crowds as they all wonder why they have been summoned. Yarmond looks on with astonishment and worry because he fears at any moment the situation can take a turn for the worst. Nexikia greets them both and Yarmond is shocked because the king’s appearance seems darker than usual. The king eyes are black and void, his nail long and blacken. Even his smile shows the depth of madness in which he has sunk.
“Welcome, I wondered when you two would show up”, said the king.
“I guess having this conversation in private is out of the question Nexikia?” Uriseas asked.
“What’s wrong Uriseas, afraid you of all people should not be afraid of such a lowly people?” Nexikia questioned as he walk toward the mob of black elves. The mere sight of King Uriseas light skin enrages the crowd to frightening levels.
“Nexikia! What are you doing I did not agree to this!” screamed Yarmond.
“Yarmond leave I can handle this” said Uriseas in worried but yet calm tone.
Yarmond knew that when it comes to the matters of elfin people it would best not to play mediator. So with great hesitation he was gone.
“What wrong Uriseas, are these not the people your CLAN classified as thieves, vagrants, and vagabond?” Nexikia stated as he rouses the crowd. MURDERER, THIEF, and LIAR!” the crowd chants over and over again each time more loudly than the next.
“Not my clan Nexikia my FATHER, Uriseas stated.”Are you going to hold a son responsible for the crimes of his father?”
“Don’t fool yourself, you are no different”
“I am not –WE are not Our father sons” Uriseas declared, as the crowd’s chants rises to deafening tones.
“Please!? I am not my father son”, Uriseas express in a melancholy yet defiant tone.
The crowd slowly surrounds Uriseas, as princess Neferi ran down stairs with her father book of decrees in her hand.
“Father I understand what the peace quotes means now.” She declares as looks upon the crowd quietly wondering why everyone was there. “I thought the ceremony wasn’t until the tomorrow?” She asked her father as the angry mob slowly grew quiet.
“Neferi this is not place for your game!”
“But see, look I found it” she declared. “It says my peace keep us free from our tyranny.”
“What?” Nexikia asked as his eyes returned to normal.
“May peace keep us from our father’s tyranny”, Neferi said with a smile.
Nexikia stood there amazed and angry not at the princess but at himself. He wondered
how could he come to such a pass? A hush sweep over the crowd as the princess rushes over to Uriseas and helps him to his feet.
“Father his knees are dirty”, said Neferi. “I thought you said that dirty is unworthy of any mans knees.”
“Yes I did. Everyone listen please go back to your home there’s nothing more to see…”
Before Nexikia could finish his statement and outcry of disapproval echoed throughout the crowd. To see her father disrespected in such a manner angered young Neferi. Her heart filled with pride and sadness for her father, but this time something was different she had control. From deep within she summoned and mighty roar that rivals her father’s. The crowd grew quiet and bowed in respect.
“Uriseas, I take full responsibility for my action, whether or not the negations continue is up to you”
“Nexikia I would like nothing more” Uriseas stated. With negation firmly underway everything in the castle slowly began to turn back to normal. All the day activates wind down to and close, he slowly walks around the castle to make sure everything is ready for tomorrow’s ceremony. He makes his way upstairs to Neferi’s bed rooms where she is fast asleep and with a smile he closes the door. Nexikia couldn’t believe that an old enemy is now an ally. He just still couldn’t place his head around the situation as he went to sleep. Suddenly, a shadowy figured appear before Nexikia.
“Hello King, there is something I must discuss with you”, said the figure.
“Who are you?” asked the king.
“I am know by many name, but you may call me Anta,”
“Fate’s enforcer what do want with me?”
“I need you to make Jonathia a Regent,”
“Cause FATE demands it,”
“But, I have already chosen A new regent, surely you don’t expect me to downgrade and appointment so quickly” express Nexikia.
“Either you DO or I WILL!” exclaimed Anta.
“Surely you don’t mean?”
“Surely you don’t mean?”
“Killing everyone on your council”, stated Anta. “If Fate deems it so I have no choice.”
“So be it demon, please leave me be”
“Oh one more thing Nexikia keep Neferi “SAFE” Fate has great plans for her”, declared Anta. Without another word Anta was gone.