(I don't know about this one....popped into my mind it's certainly generic enough notice one of my stories is on hiatus so I replaced it with this.
I own the story and all the characters, any likeness to any person(s) living or dead is coincidental and unintentional. While this story is available for free it is not to be redistributed in any way; I am the only person who can post this on more than one site or earn money for it in the future.)
On this day..
In the kingdom of Elnasia rich scenery spread from corner to corner and back again, even the poor lived surrounded by beauty. While lands were rich, farming was easy with the healthy soil, the air was clear there was a touch that kept it that way. Fairies didn't often reveal themselves but those that lived in Elnasia knew them. It was due to the royal family that they were happy to assist no matter what was needed. They were not all powerful and had limits but no one went hungry, disease didn't spread and death normally came from old age. It was safe in that way, no kingdom was without the occasional disaster as massive as it was there were plenty others scattered across the world.
Magic was widely used, the current royal family to Elnasia was small though they came from a rich history their ancestors efforts to bring the elves, witches, and fairies to bind together against that which effected them all. Koelle to the elves, Nostra to the pixies and fairies, Ralmine to the spell casters of light and dark no matter what it was called most knew it as the darkness. Called so simply after a few generations which led to more peace for all than most ever thought possible. It was no fairy tale they had assistance with other royals that had joined them and those that didn't or simply allied with the darkness left room for war, vicious enemies many lost lives. Though in the past six years things had been fairly peaceful, many thought their enemies numbers had taken a good blow but that didn't mean they were naive to what could happen.
The darkness, as it was simply called, was a curse not the idea that someone or something born in the shadows was evil, one could find dark elves, pixies, and the dark cousins to the witches just as easily in the peaceful lands that had remained allied for centuries. They were not evil, they were no concern but didn't question more extreme methods. One couldn't always talk their way out of a fight, some had to die to make way for the greater good.
Though you wouldn't find their softer counterparts playing as though they had never done anything wrong. That or acting as though they deserved to be higher for trying to keep the peace, but they couldn't be corrupted that was the difference most didn't know as it hadn't happened before beyond the darkness but those that practiced dark magic were watched just in case.
It was the Nelfone who had created and even named their little curse one that corrupted and spread like disease. Turning beautiful creatures into terrible poisoned beasts, beloved friends....family members even lovers into the worst assassins. Those that knew you and used your weaknesses against you while still calling you friend. The fairies could mostly block it out, the witches could cure small problems that came from the corruption, and elves were ready for battle there wasn't yet an end in sight, life was manageable.
Though in the past before the three groups were brought together it would have been a fairy tale to calm a child's nightmares to imagine even a bit of what they knew now.
Today was not a day for remembering though, it was one for celebration, The Fair of Thorn was a festival to celebrate the treaties that bound so many together. There was a play for the children telling them of the first Queen and King who joined with those from a distance in efforts to gather as many they could. They were human but they had always had something special about them, not all humans carried it, but the senses that were almost demon in nature gave them the power to convince the stubborn elders of old to fight with them instead of against them.
That wasn't to say they were demons, the mindless creatures lived under the Nelfone and helped pass on what they could in whatever form they chose. The fairies could only stop so much but then they had help to manage what they couldn't. Though they weren't as human as most were. It was named just as simply a thorn can prick or be a sign of danger to remind you not to pass as witches would say. Which is positive on it's own as well as negative a reminder to those that gave up when the royals pushed for more still it was a happy day for all. It was no easy task to prove they were on their side while forcing them to lay old grudges aside to make a better future..if they could.
The allied kingdoms had their own celebrations generally sending letters when it came to spreading joy, they had their own tales things they surpassed. Once Elnasia was gripped by winter thanks to the Koelle as many elves used to reside all over the kingdom, much as it was only referred to as Ralmin in the kingdom of Cotesta, and of course Nostra in Jacai for the other originating lands. The kingdoms had their own on the throne but for the humans the elves would have been wiped out completely. The snow was no ordinary snow it was corrupt which now seems like a simple tale as it does not live but a curse just needs to cling to something to spread. Never the less the flakes were so sharp they could cause fatal wounds in a blizzard and the fallen snow you missed so cold promising hypothermia in a matter of minutes though you remained alive the entire time feeling as you were frozen.
That was only known for sure as the humans had found ways around that being scattered even more so, they thawed the victims it was once hard to tell if you could even make it though slowly with the proper spells that were passed on from their traveling they could work around that. Humans did not just come from nothing of course they originated from the lands of Gressan, it was lost to the opposite, harsh Summers that could melt anything that dared to venture outside. That was the will of the curse, now Summer was still fairly warm you were safe with a bit of cream to block the rays and loose clothes. The lands eventually burnt and those that had seen enough die..that remained inside learned to travel from there and beyond.
Many believed there was more to the royals than what was advertised the witches could use spells to see truths very vividly, and though it was disease and loss of powers that were the downfall of most of them what they did have were effective. They did not question what happened no they looked creating images to see how they suffered, watched the horrors of those that melted. With fairies most were simply shrunk, and it would just happen further until they disappeared still no one is sure if they were immediately killed or lost in another realm.
They knew it took more than a desire to live that moved them along to grab their allies, through the acidic plains of Cotesta, or the thick poisonous air of Jacai. Never the less it earned them respect, made it easier to get them to listen though the curse claimed at random it wasn't as though it had claimed all their children who were as protected as they could be. There was not a loose connection between royals and those that lived under the castles, there had been plenty to find to fight the Nelfone who were as much demons as they weren't, those that had broken apart, lived underground, those that found safety in caves no matter how difficult those that dug their own graves though the fairies could find them and will them out.
While some details were softened all children eventually were given the visions from the witches that they could see as truths, because a child's innocence was precious. However that did not mean they would ever let them forget to be grateful for where they grow now. There is no need for foolish tales of scary beings that live in closest or under beds they have plenty of history that is far more effective.
On the cobblestone streets of Treta, the town closest to the Enalsia family castle balloons flew through the air, the smell of rich desserts, and fine meats swirled about as music was played happily. There were representatives from the other kingdoms that generally sent the letters. Along the trek there were other kingdoms found other allies to be found they weren't part of the main families but the world was not so small it was just a pleasure to know they were not corrupted.
Princess Aciana was sitting with her mother and father watching the festivities, it was a warm Spring day no one knew for sure with the wild weather when it happened, just the end. It was a good happy time for most.
King Relnes is a handsome man with copper hair and forest green eyes a soft tan from his time outside his lovely wife Queen Jialle a dark haired beauty with bright blue eyes. Aciana was a pleasant mix of them both though her hair was a bit lighter than her father's and she was a little paler than her mother, she had taken her mother's eyes. Beside them two elves both dark elves with dark purple hair and eyes so dark you could hardly tell they were green, with skin the color of dark magenta. Senna was the eldest a guard for the King and Queen she wore her hair in a braid. Her handsome brother Nerren kept his hair short his elfin ears visible he worked with her.
Technically the princess didn't have a guard but she wasn't often far from her parents.
Though she was crown princess and set to take over she was the youngest child, her brother Gavien the spitting image of their father save for his dark hair refused the crown when he was sixteen. Saying he wanted to travel, not so freely as some nobles could however. He preferred the life of a soldier and when it came to war they did travel plenty to aide their allies. The second born Stya another beauty taking after their father completely though her features were softer to their mothers of course was not eligible. She had been corrupted from birth after a carriage accident left their mother and father stranded as the curse spread just before they were taken completely Gavien was there to assist.
She was no longer sick, or really dangerous but the witches found there was nothing to be done to heal her completely sometimes she did seem off still she was harmless. The last Ofene, who once looked like their mother though with magic left his hair a dark green, married outside of the kingdom he was already a king to Cotesta his wife Naminele was in charge as a witch yes but they ruled equally he met her when she visited personally for Aciana's twelfth birthday she was often busy as was common there was always more to do but letters, quick visits with magic were well used it wasn't so common to stay attached. She missed him but was glad they could write one another more quickly with his wife's assistance.
Aciana yawned to herself feeling her mother nudging her she looked up, the queen was of course as youthful as she always been her hair in a detailed bun a tight low cut gown clung to her. Even in Spring it threatened Summer's arrival, warm was pleasant but that didn't mean heat stroke wasn't close behind.
“Dearest if you're bored you should go out and mingle some.” she said softly.
“Not at all mother...just stayed up late.”
“Again Princess?” Nerren said.
“You keep that up and you will have bags of purple to rival us.” Senna teased.
She smiled resisting the urge to stick her tongue out at her friends, guards or not, they had grown up together.
“I wonder what keeps you late into the evening.” Relnes said smiling at her as he stroked his thick beard his loose robes showed how he kept in shape, even the royals could be called to battle he wasn't one to lounge about.
At least not without earning it.
“I was just studying.”
As per their senses it was well known they couldn't be lied to and one of them would know if they lied to someone outside the family, so of course judgment was passed with at least two of them. It was from their ancestors, though it was strengthened by fairies.
“Something interesting to keep you from sleep?” Jialle asked with a smile.
“Of course...did you know witches used to make new weapons solely from the bones of their dead, once cursed enemies?”
Amused by her interests the twins smirked as her parents grinned.
“A trade I've heard of but never seen, they keep those old weapons under lock and key less they pass the curse on, still if things ever grew dire enough there are some that could wield them.” Relnes said pausing as he heard a roar.
She nodded as he spoke, as safe as it was the poorer lands existed were powers of the fairies grew weaker still the poor were always taught at least the basics and free to pursue more. Something her father insisted on, he had always been more of a scholar though as any good king he had many skills. One of which he made sure to share with Aciana from when she had just begun speaking complete sentences. Not many could communicate with dragons, certainly there were enough from all the main kingdoms to keep some on their side but it was not a common skill and it was hard to teach. Dragons didn't not attack so wildly anymore but they rejected the mental reach of those they deemed unworthy.
Which they did for various reasons..they were hard to please, granted there were many that liked the peace and helped to keep it. Some only did if they were disturbed as well.
“What is it?” Jialle had the skill but they were in the more unique group of being able to read, well listen and understand roars and growls normal to their winged friends.
Relnes stood up as the roar grew louder the cheer faded and the music stopped, he looked down as Gavien arrived with two of his trusted soldiers hearing the war he climbed to the top without his father's assistance he was well skilled as a captain.
“See where that dragon is headed, it's...”
“Asking for help...but it doesn't want to land here.” Aciana finished a frown forming her face.
“Come with me then, if I take you the people won't be so worried about a dragon flying about without addressing you first.” it was just a common courtesy for the trusted dragons, they showed they were harmless visiting as friends and though they could celebrate too and sometimes joined in there weren't any here today favoring the peace in their mountain homes.
She nodded and stood he helped her up on his horse, the brown horse flicked his dark tail more aware than the common horses sold outside of nobility. He didn't talk but when Elur was spooked it was a different sort of sign. He took off as her parents stood to assure the people that things were fine that he merely wanted a private audience. No they didn't know that was completely true as he didn't say but Jialle wasn't going to say anything against it.
Gavien smiled hearing the music returned his parents could reign in a crowd quickly, he had seen that Aciana was just as good as it she was born to lead as he often said. Yet just twenty-five their parents would have gone so far as to have another child to protect her wishes, living much longer aging as slow as demons they weren't in any sort of rush twenty-five to the normal humans wasn't old but at that age many of the royal family even as they turned the cursed lands around had a bit more than a hundred years left. They celebrated births but it took a spell to see if they actually gained a year she had existed a little longer being so young but the witches knew what to look for. Sometimes they simply didn't age another reason to assume they weren't as human as they could be. Though she surprised them and took the chance her reward was the freedom she had. She took well to her lessons was trusted by the people they weren't just going to plop her on the throne and hope for the best.
Following the stones until they gave way to dirt and trees they soon reached a clearing where they heard the roaring. With him were two elves, both light, they were not twins but the pretty blonds a man and a woman could have appeared that way at first glance. With pretty honey eyes and pale skin, long hair and of course their silver armor in the appropriate sizes. They were cousins though and worked with Gavien closely, Lenri was a beauty like most of her people and Corvin could dazzle anyone with his smile. There were too few elves with the lost human lands the humans took over they were given way for standing up when so many gave in, prepared to die. There was a peace between them the bad blood was left to the curse after all.
The dragon was resting by a pond he wasn't very big completely purple, even his eyes were purple, he looked up as they arrived seeing that a man was unconscious on his back she knew why he called for help.
“Greetings, I am Aciana what happened to your friend there?” she asked sliding off Erul staying behind her brother. He nudged her.
“Crowned Princess of Elnasia.” she corrected, still not seeing how it mattered she didn't use her title often.
'I know who you are, I heard from the elders who to expect I am Borwine this however... is not my friend, that is he is no enemy but I do not know him. I found him sick and dying and brought him here. I have cured what would spread but he is weak.' he said in her head.
She nodded, his eyes flickered blue he was clearly not corrupted and only dragons that were like him with a blue glow to their eyes could cure nearly anything. Not all there was a limit as many dragons were lost to the curse some didn't recover and with dragons their powers were passed down. So even if he had been sick with something there were many who could cure that much but they couldn't heal him as much as a fairy or witch clearly his robes were mostly dark from blood and dirt he didn't have much time. She walked over to examine him his long black hair was matted they must have tried to curse him but failed.
“If he is cursed do not touch him.” Gavien said firmly.
“Are you certain mi'lady?” Lenri asked, sure she could sense it as the family did with what was left in Stya.
“Yes...he is not even like...my sister, he was attacked with magic but carries nothing here, we must get him back to the castle so he can heal properly.”
With a nod from Corvin he moved over with Gavien to pick him up he groaned but there was nothing more from him. They put him on the darker horse that Corvin rode, Tuea, and Nio Lenri's horse shook her head. She was sure they weren't too pleased by the smell.
“It won't be long just endure it.” Lenri said thinking the same, Nio snorted but nodded his head.
“Thank you for bringing him Borwine, and it was nice to meet you.” she said curtsying.
He stood, he was a rather small dragon but much bigger than the horses he stood and nodded.
'You as well majesty, I am glad to help, I wasn't doing anything more important anyways.'
She smiled he sounded dismissive but she was sure he didn't want to be seen as too soft he had a deep voice but there was a youth to it, perhaps he was only a teen it wasn't always clear with the types of dragons to be found. He stretched and took off as she was pushed back on her brother's horse they took off through the short cut to head back to the castle no need to take the long way back through town.
The massive stone castle was busy with activity while the servants were given time off many of them would join the festival later, as they were given leave to relax in the castle it was just as nice for enjoying the holiday. They took him to one of the guest rooms he was cleaned and dressed in a clean set of robes before being put to bed, Aciana peeked in on him while her brother quickly checked in with their parents to assure them that the matter was taken care of and that she would return soon. She insisted on staying, as she should approving a guest. She wanted to look him over they didn't cut his thick beard or his long hair though he was cleaner now than he had probably been a long while.
She brushed his hair out of his face feeling sorry for the man he'd been through a lot just at a gaze as they set him on his left side finding the large gash on his right, the servants that assisted told her he was covered in various wounds and bruises, some cursed scars. These little marks came with just that, a mark that looked healed and not worth a concern but with the help of the curse left as much pain as it would have as a normal wound. She looked at his ears they had healed but the tip was malformed, he was an elf and the points had been cut off. She shivered at the thought.
Why torture him so? She didn't sense a curse no, but she didn't sense anything really evil about him, she wasn't one to wish the worst on those that did wrong things that were fair more to prove they were different from the darker nobles meant to be avoided that would turn to execution for the smallest crimes.
She moved her hand away and jumped as he gripped her wrist she stared hard at him not easily startled from her training.
“Unhand me, I mean you no harm.”
“....Nor I....you, Princess.”
She frowned hearing his deep but strained voice before he coughed, she grabbed the water on the stand next to the bed it was a simple room mostly in black, one of her favorites. She helped him drink a bit though he still hadn't released her hand. It didn't hurt more like she had actually startled him and in his daze it was more a comfort.
“Do I know you?” many knew her title it was just a wonder.
“Not anymore.” he said simply.
She frowned as he coughed, it was heavy and he remained silent as she assisted him with the water though it was no lie, not really, though if he changed she wondered who he used to be.
“Not anymore? There aren't many I've met that I've lost just to time.....Ezan?”
He didn't comment, and she frowned further.
“Is that you Ezan? You won't be punished if it is....you don't have to talk just nod.”
Though he didn't respond, she pulled open his robe and stared at his muscled torso among the scars was one that stood out it looked like a scar easy to hide now though it's sun like shape was all too familiar. One of the few times she lost control of a spell and only Ezan knew about it, it had been an accident, he startled her she healed him but it was forever there as she was once taught, a mistake no matter how severe you can always learn something from it. Had she meant to kill him it would have worked even without the steady hand of a witch, as an accident he was always marked as a mistake. He had been her tutor though he wasn't much older than she was granted she has a few years of just existing even without aging year by year as a normal human he wasn't that much older than her.
After the treaties witches became more helpful, even if humans could return to their lands with so few left of the elves though strong they were weak and wouldn't have made it on their own. A simple spell of knowledge, protection while training under harsh conditions for the warriors, even just simple history of the family they chose to serve something to give them purpose elves needed that it was taught to them from the moment they could understand which by their intelligence was very young. Relnes thought she was bright but still wanted more than just a tutor when Ezan was abandoned they gave him a choice.
With knowledge he hoped as a child to get some sort of job, Relnes thought lessons disguised as simple play would be fitting, and they were. She learned more on her little play dates with him than she would have with a normal tutor like her siblings had in a shorter amount of time.
He disappeared ten years ago after he was meant to serve with Gavien to practice his other skills when she no longer needed a tutor he was supposed to be her guard. Technically it would have been desertion, the reason for punishment. Though having been a victim clearly that wasn't the case for him.
“It really is you...why won't you look at me? I know you didn't really run off on me after swearing to serve...that's not you.”
“...Maybe I did....like I said I won't hurt you...but you no longer know me.” he said releasing her hand.
He didn't say anything more making a point, despite his obvious trouble moving and pain, to move to the bathroom to shave she would think. She only shook her head hearing Gavien call for her from outside.
“I can't be lied to...remember?” though she was only answered with silence.
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