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|this is the first chapter to the Fates in which you meet the main character and her destiny.||
The skies were gray with light purple clouds. It was dusk. The wind whispered its soft breeze. The sound of the nearby river and its current echoed in the room. All was still; even the trees were silent with their branches. As to purposely disturb the silence a cry of anguish broke the tranquility. A young woman aroused suddenly from her sleep. Her brownish-blond hair swished with her sudden movements. The room was dark until two maidens carrying candles rushed into the room. The wind pushed the soft sheer curtains and the world seemed awakened as well.
“Lady, have you awoke from yet another nightmare?” one of the maids asked with a rushed voice.
Upon the earth and skies, when war seems to never end
Three will begin to fly, and great peace shall they send.
“Do you need a pint of water, milady?” the second maiden asked.
The young woman denied and slipped out from under the silken sheets. Her long green gown dragged and smothered the floor as she stepped. She held her head in her hand in great distress. One of the maidens, whom wore black for mourning, walked to the distressed maiden’s side. She placed her hand on the lady’s arm. “Lady, are you ill?” the maid began concerned, “Lord Wynan shall return tomorrow, do you wish us to tell him of this weakness?”
“No.” the lady replied, “Please, I beg you leave, I must gather my thoughts.” the lady continued.
The two maidens curtsied and as they left closed the leaf curtain door. The young lady walked to her room’s balcony. The dim light hit her face, as darkness was so near. She leaned on the railing as if it were her only support. She stood motionless, yet at the same was very much alive. The soft breeze blew her hair, and its scent was of the roses and lilacs the forest held.
“Why is this happening to me?” she asked herself. She closed her eyes and immediately her thoughts took control of her. No longer was she in the Foresthome, let alone that she was no longer in Kaityan. Before her, for she did see herself in such a dream, there was a grand city. The structures were massive in height, their tips reaching into the clouds. They glimmered in the sunlight as rays seeped down upon them. Speeders floated high in the sky much higher than the trees that Kaityan held forth, and the width of such buildings were astonishing. Glass windows and twisted marble, that was what they seemed be made of, that of metal as well. Precious metals sparkled at the sun’s glance and it amazed her all the more. Strange designs were etched into their being and she saw no sign of wood anywhere in this shining city. Yet, as her eyes were becoming accustomed to such a wonderful invention the dream shifted and the city began to blur. As it faded it was replaced by many rolling hills. They were green, and there were many, very many, and she could see portals into the very hills themselves. They stretched far as the eye could see and its same distance was that of the grand forest Kaityan. And as she stood there, her feet began to lift and she was being carried into the sky, and the many hills were beneath her, far beneath her. From this height she saw the seas in their magnificence and the clouds were with her. She saw the Great Mountains and the many lakes, she saw one spot of glowing lights and the many other lands outward in the ocean’s grasp. She saw the mighty river, Curientin, as it was flowing into its fork and separated into the rivers Taradi and Cerni.
But now, as she waited there floating, she felt the wind to push against her face. Her arms stretched and she knew she was flying. She was flying and soaring like that of a bird, with the same grace as of the phoenix. She flew over hills and plains until she came unto the north where she began to sink from the sky and the trees of Kaityan were becoming taller than herself. And now she stood at the edge of the mighty forest, but that vision did not last. A blinding white light took the view of Kaityan. It was the most pure of lights and she felt summoned. She felt fear creep into her, and she wanted to open her eyes and escape such a dream. Yet as she was summoning her eyes to do so, something called her name within the deeps of her mind. She kept in her dream for her curiosity did come over her. Then through the light did eyes blend into view, they were large and close and as though she were but an ant. Then came eyelashes and red eyebrows. Some of the skin could be seen but it blended with the light surrounding it, the peachy color mixed with pure and holy light. The eyelids raised revealing green eyes, blaring green eyes. Lips appeared, and they were in motion. She began to hear words, they echoed and were soft all the while. Yes, she was not imagining, there were words!
“Ariana…Ariana…” the words were forming. The partial view of the face disintegrated. The dream had ended on its own, and her eyes were caused to open. Ariana, that was her name, but when hearing it in her dreams it sounded so different. Ariana looked around, the tall trees surrounded Foresthome; she looked out into the woods. She could see some few couples walking along in a distance with their glow lamps for the night’s coming. The women were in their flowing dresses; the men were in their capes and raiment. What had caused her to drift into sleep before the sun’s leave? Perhaps she had simply fallen asleep on purpose. She turned and walked off of her room’s balcony, re-entering her central room. The maidens had left some candles in her room and their light shone on the wooden designs upon her walls. Ariana stood in silence at staring at her carved ancestors and the flowery designs. It was in this reverence that she then remembered that at this time, this very day, she was to meet Tanie. Perhaps she had decided to rest before their meeting. Ariana turned to glance at the sun; it was now below the trees and was ever quickly fading away into the night. Her time of meeting was already past, but by chance she could still meet Tanie. She tidied her gown and dashed out of her room. She lifted her dress to her knees for easier running. She ran down the three flights then through the South Corridor of the Foresthome. Many people stopped from whatever they were doing and watched as she hurriedly ran without the usual performance of women. Many bowed and curtsied but at seeing she did not pay any attention they went back to their doings. At reaching the end of the South Corridor she pushed open the large wooden doors and began running down the Faiway Path, which leads into the very heart of the forest.
She ran, her feet beginning to throb from the thinness of the soles of the slippers she wore. Though, the air rushing into her lungs gave her a determination. Her dress floated with her every movement and her hair blew wildly with her rapidness. The sun was almost gone and only glow lamps that were stationed throughout the forest were giving light beside that of the new coming moon. Was she too late? She kept her running at a fast pace. Then, before her, she saw Tanie standing under one of the great trees looking up at the moon showing its face and at the second beginning to come. Ariana stopped and caught her breath. Tanie saw her and waved for her to join with her. Ariana did so, she and Tanie embraced for a moment.
“For a time I thought you were not to come. I am glad to see that you did indeed, though.” Tanie said while smiling as she and Ariana sat on one of the roots of the tree.
“I almost did not, though I am glad as well.” Ariana replied.
Tanie was a small degree shorter than Ariana. She had raven hair and ocean blue eyes. She and Ariana both had fair skin and they both loved for roses to be in their hair or upon their gowns. Tanie was wearing a soft pink gown, with a pink rose embedded in her hair just above her ear.
“So, Ariana, what took you such a long time to get here? Had it not been by the moon’s beauty I would have left.”
At first Ariana did not know what to answer. She dreaded to answer and to burden her friend. “I was having strange dreams.” She found herself saying.
Tanie’s face grew grave. “Again? How long now has it been?” she asked as her voice and face were concerned.
Ariana was now in grief that she had said anything, “Yes, again, it has now been two months.”
“Then what were your dreams about this time?”
Ariana explained all that she had seen within this dream but it only confused Tanie, so she spoke no more of details. She was afraid. What was this that had corrupted her? What were these strange dreams? “Tanie, let us talk of something else, you bear too many burdens on your own.”
“I would carry any that you would give me, but let us talk of something else.”
“Have you found a suitor? Or do you still wander freely?” Ariana asked.
“Indeed it has been long since we have spoke, I still wander freely but my interest on one is becoming.”
“Who is he? Do I know him?” Ariana asked curiously.
“You may know of him, but my hopes are low that you do. After all, you have been seeing many suitors as well, except they are quite different, since yours are princes and lords. My husband would indeed be different from yours.”
“It is not so grand, most do not please me, and I find them to be annoying. They do not like my spirit and feel I am not in full with the laws of women.”
“That is because you are not, so you shouldn’t try to disguise that you do.” Tanie replied.
“I abide in the laws I just feel some are unfair.”
“The world is unfair, the Neverending War is unfair, and do you expect life to be?”
“In a way I suppose I do, but do not we all have that same desire within us?”
“I suppose we do.” Tanie was quiet for a time and Ariana did not know of what now to speak, it was a long time since they had spoken. Tanie looked at Ariana gravely and all that was seen in her face was worry. “Will you tell your father when he arrives tomorrow?”
“Of his useless measures for sending me a prince, why yes! I will gladly tell him! I would rather try to find a husband on my own not by someone arranging everything!” Ariana joked.
“You know of what I meant, about your dreams and visions. They have increased and your screams echo in the halls often now. Will you tell him of this?”
“ I do not wish to, for he shall be coming from many months of fighting and I do not want to tire him all the more, but I shall see tomorrow.” Ariana replied, while staring at the two moons and the third that was coming.
Tanie seemed to see the worry within Ariana and quickly reverted the subject. “Perhaps you know of Kanom Rentri? He is whom I do take interest.”
“His name does sound familiar but know him I do not.” Ariana replied.
“Look, a phoenix flies by the moon!” Tanie said while grasping Ariana’s arm and pointing to the sky.
Ariana looked but something happened as Tanie kept her grip. A vision flashed before her eyes as she looked at the phoenix, and the bird she no longer saw for in its stead was placed another dream. In this dream she saw Tanie in the forest, she was walking steadily seeming to come at Ariana. She wore black, and her fair skin looked out of place with the darkness she wore. Her eyes were saddened and gave pity to Ariana. But then she began crying and instead of the translucent fluid that comes forth, it was blood. Blood dripped from her eyes, rolling off her cheeks. Then, as if it were a nightmare in reality, were long whip marks showing across her body, and blood dripped from her wounds. The blood ever kept flowing until it was consuming the land and all of the background was blood. The dream stopped. Ariana was looking at the phoenix pass through the fourth moon and slip into the fifth. Tanie no longer held Ariana’s arm. Ariana was frozen in fear, what was the meaning of such a vision? She was now very afraid, so afraid that she felt herself not breathing.
Tanie still watched the phoenix, “It is a magnificent bird is it not? It is rare to see one, why does one fly over Kaityan, usually they fly only over the Great Mountains and the old Pixi Isles to the south.” Tanie looked at Ariana and saw that she was frozen. “Ariana, is something wrong?”
Ariana slowly faced Tanie; her eyes were in utter shock and fear. She began to stand, and Tanie could only watch in horror. Tears began to drip from her eyes, “I am sorry…Tanie…but I must leave.” Ariana said in a whisper for she could barely find voice.
“Where do you leave to Ariana?” Tanie asked worried.
Ariana turned away and began to run. As she ran she gave no look to behind herself, she could only guess that Tanie was now in utter confusion. She could not bear to think of such a vision to come to reality. She had to get away; she had to run. She ran along the Faiway Path, heading back to Foresthome. As she made it back into the large city and ran through the corridors to her room, many looked at her strangely some with worry others with suspicion. A few times she had tripped due to her gown but she managed to make it to her room. She moved the leaf hangings aside at her door and leapt upon her bed and began to weep all the more. Why was she seeing these things, was it some sort of plan? She had seen the death of a small child due to him falling from a tree, it was in one of her dreams, and it had come true. She feared this new vision would come true as well, she feared this more than the Neverending War creeping upon her homeland. She cried until she was swept into sleep.
* * *
The dawn crept into her room, the rays of the sun opening her eyes. Ariana looked at the ceiling of her room. She had not had a vision last night; it was the first time in a long time that such a thing had not happened. The only thing about this that made her worry was that the dreams or visions were now not only haunting her in her sleep but in the broad of day. A maidservant entered and set down a pitcher of water on a small table. She curtsied then left. Ariana sat up, and for a moment looked about her room. The rose draperies hung about her room, the carved perfection upon her walls. She slid off her bed and stood. She was still garbed in her green gown from the day before. This would not do for her father’s arrival; she went and looked about her wardrobe. There was a newly sewn one she could wear. It was lavender though at the top above her waist was a blue layover that went on one shoulder.
Ariana thought that that gown would be very fitting to the occasion. She quickly changed after having cleaned and groomed herself. She left her room to go to the main gate. As she arrived a maiden handed her a glass of Ifrine. Ariana began to sip the purified water, but choked on the liquid. She looked into the glass; the Ifrine had turned to blood. No one noticed anything, she looked back into the glass, it had returned to its normal state. She uneasily handed the cup to another of the servants, receiving a strange look. There were many standing about, drinking while awaiting Wynan.
Then through the rows of trees he could be seen, riding upon his great steed. Ariana remembered when she was young at how her father would let her ride Tenti when he would return from battle. Now he was leading the injured back to Kaityan. His horse strode up to Ariana and Wynan dismounted. He was wearing armor and his clothing pieces were torn, but at seeing Ariana a smile stretched across his face. Ariana embraced him, and at first it was a joyous moment. He felt so strong, her protection. Though at their embrace a vision flashed in Ariana’s mind. She saw a man behind her father, he was dressed strangely more like a Roatain, her father before her fell to his knees, blood spouted from his mouth and he fell face forward at her feet. The man behind her father slowly brought his arm down. Ariana jerked away from her father’s embrace, the vision ended and her father looked at her strangely.
“What!? Did you not like a hug from your father?” He asked with a gruff smile. “Men,” he began talking to his few followers, “Walk on forward, head to the Med House.” He turned his attention back to Ariana. “Daughter, come, let us talk, we have much to talk of.”
“But father, what of your wounds, you should have them looked at.” Ariana protested.
“No, we will talk. I need you to see what is happening and what has happened.” His face was very grave at this statement. “Come.” He mounted his horse and then Ariana climbed aboard. They rode for hours heading south towards the Battle for Kaityan. They arrived at a mile before the forest ended. Her father dismounted and helped her to get off.
“Why do you bring me to the edge of Kaityan?”
“Because, this is the edge of your world. You see the death around you but you do not heed to it. For you, Kaityan is safety, when in reality it is being overrun by Roatain. Every day they grasp hold of an inch of our forest. In a few years there may no longer be Kaityan.”
“Father you do not think that such a thing will take place do you?” Ariana asked.
“Think is not the word, Know is more as it,” he paused, “our forces grow weak every day. We do not have much longer, then after Roatain have taken Kaityan they shall transform it to their own wills and then they will go after Ladanyans. Though we are not in tribe of the Ladanyan, I pity them when Argonath fall to the Roatain.”
“Why will it be that way father?”
“Because we cannot stop it, this world is dying or nonetheless becoming under Roatain dominion.” Wynan answered. “Come, one of our scouts reported this to us last night, I believe you may know her.”
At hearing this Ariana became terrified. She followed her father and there upon the ground was the most horrific sight to be seen. Surrounded by a pool of blood lay Tanie, still in her pink gown but it was soaked with her blood from the many lash marks upon her body. Ariana turned away, her stomach feeling sickly. Her dream had come true. It was as she had feared, but she could have prevented it, and yet, she did not.
“Ariana, I am sorry. Reportedly there were Roatain in this area, but I felt you needed to know.” Wynan sympathized.
“Freeze!” cried a voice. Wynan and Ariana froze.
“ROATAIN!!!” her father yelled from behind her. A shot fired and a cry of anguish. Ariana turned. “Don’t move or you’re next!” the voice demanded.
Ariana froze but saw her father fall to his knees, blood spouting, and he fell face forward. It was the same as her last vision, and yet again she had done nothing to stop it. The man looked at her oddly and his expression changed, he had pity. He was dressed like Roatain, his hair was dark brown and his eyes were light brown. He approached her, Ariana stood frozen in fear. He came closer to her until he was a foot away. He was two inches taller than she and he was built strongly. “Who are you?” he asked as he lowered his arm.
“Could you not have asked my father as well?” Ariana said with tears beginning to stream off her face.
He shook his head with sorrow, “It was merely reaction. I am sorry for your loss, will you please forgive me?”
“I am afraid you ask too much of a stranger. I am known as Ariana, what is your calling?”
“I am Laeto.” The man said while nodding to her statement. He looked about, everywhere but upon the face of his prey. This angered Ariana. For there, upon the blood soaked ground, laid the two most important people in Ariana’s life. Though now what was life without them and Ariana found herself wishing she had been murdered as well. She bent at her father’s side and stroked his bloody strands of hair. The man, Laeto, stood merely watching her in this, and for a time, by merely minutes, that which seemed an eternity-did nothing but ignorantly stare. Ariana felt, as though the massive trees of Kaityan were her prison, if had she not only knew.
“Did you kill my beloved friend as well?” she found herself asking. She stood from her father’s side. Her anger and hate, that she never knew, was forming as his blood dripped from her fingers. She looked into his guilty, full of utter sorrow, eyes.
“No, only your kin did my hands slay.” Said he.
“Well, who then murdered Tanie?” Ariana demanded. The Roatain turned; his head was hanging in shame. Though his head arose with some few calls of his own. He looked about as he saw more of his own running towards them. He looked back at Ariana with more of a grievous look.
“Laeto! Laeto! All Argonos have been ripped from this sector. Hurry, we must move on inward, you are slowing the conquest.” The man yelled as he came up to them. His face grew angry as he saw Ariana. “Why do you let this one live?”
Laeto was silent, and Ariana thought at why as well, but she found herself speaking. “Why do you kill innocents! How have I hurt you so?!”
The man snickered, “Argonath, the only tribe worthy for Roatain to fight. Ladanyans are cowards and they hide in their hills, but you and your kind, you fight. Though you, you will not have the chance.” He said while raising his laser gun at her head. More men were gathered around them, watching, as her execution was about to take place. A few tossed the body of her father and Tanie in some bushes. The man was pulling the trigger when Laeto stepped in front of Ariana.
“Laeto!” the man growled, “Move Aside! That is an order!”
Ariana was in utter confusion as she watched the scene unfold before her eyes. She only desired to cry out for help, but she knew then she would be slaughtered. Yet, though she did want to die, something told her within herself that she couldn’t or more that she wouldn’t.
“Sir, this is the queen, for I did make rid of her father, and upon his finger is the Ring of Kaityan. This woman was the princess but now by her father’s death would be queen if there is no other sibling.” Laeto spoke.
A few men went to the dead body and retrieved the ring and handed it to the man. He lowered his laser and looked at Ariana with great disgust. “You, what is your name and are you as he speaks?”
Ariana felt the heat of all eyes, “I am Ariana, and I am as he speaks.”
The company began cheering all except Ariana and Laeto. “Very well done, Laeto, you will be greatly honored for this. Yet, we shall take their queen, so harness her.” The man began ordering his other men to do meaningless things. Everything was meaningless.
Laeto brought out his hydrocuffs. He disgracingly came closer to Ariana, but she did not refuse. As he was about to cuff her he took her hands and wiped her father’s blood off of them with his sleeves. At his touch Ariana’s mind raced, and she was swept away in that ever-fearful dreamworld.
On a great balcony, in a world she knew not, she stood-with Laeto! She wore pale blue, and he wore navy. His eyes were gentle, and Ariana saw herself as happy, and so was Laeto. She watched, the dream shifted, and a voice, the same face as before. Green eyes ever constant, and then a figure and hair, long, straight, red hair. And then a voice!
“Upon the earth and skies, when war seems to never end
Three will begin to fly, and great peace shall they send.”
Ariana had heard this before, yet the voice continued.
And with peace everlasting, new light shall be seen.”
The dream vanished; Ariana stared at Laeto with a rush of fear rather than anger. Much to her amazement Laeto stood in a fearful trance as well.
“Did you see what I seen?” he asked.
“Were we upon a balcony together?” Ariana asked in return.
“I wore navy and you wore pale blue.” He answered.
“Did you see the other woman?” Ariana asked as he slowly and regretfully clasped the hydros on her wrists. He drew her close to him, so no others could hear.
“The only woman was you, but I will watch after you. That dream meant something and I intend to find out.” With that he grabbed the center of the hydros and led her behind him.
Laeto’s leader was leading them out of Kaityan. Laeto and Ariana were meshed within the group, forced to keep walking seemingly to their city. It was a wonder at why Laeto was in this state. Perhaps it was Destiny or Fate rather than Chance. Yet it nevertheless was not leaving her mind. Laeto would every so often glance back at Ariana. He would not smile but his eyes were kind to her.
Whatever anger she felt towards him was relinquished. Yet now as at her normal dinnertime they had reached the edge of the forest and Ariana stared in wonder at the vast distances there were with barely any trees. Laeto turned to her and whispered. “We have to make it to Checkpoint 2, its four miles from here, from there we’ll travel by air but for now we go by foot to Checkpoint 1, once we get there we’ll take hoverbikes. Just stay close, this is rough terrain, on battle speaking.”
|The Fates Chapter Three||Wicked Whispers|
|The Fates-an introduction||Ode to Solitude|
|The Tale of Dolon and Auraine|