Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Xander {Part 7}

Can what I have been told true? I thought the Council spoke in jest when they told me the truth, this confusing truth. I, a king? Me, Xander Bolivar, Captain in the Revelin Army, defecting Captain of the Royal Aragathian guard, the blood right ruler of Incantevole? They said  my father was the son of the King Adan and Queen Rhiana, an elf. In which, that means I am one quarter Elvish. How shocking this all was to me, as you can well imagine. I have caught myself touching my ears many times, almost expecting there to be pointedness, but it does appear I have my Grandfather's looks.

Xander laid the pen down, and massaged his temples. Stress had suddenly been thrust upon him, and he felt tired more and more often. The battle for Aragathia was no longer a matter of freedom, but a personal conflict. As rightful Heir of the throne, it was his duty to fight until either he or Felix were dead. Even if the Rebels were overcome, he would never have the freedom to do so.
He picked up the feather pen, and began to scratch his thoughts back into the simple leather book.

I think of Bly more and more often, and yet, I haven't seen much of her since the meeting with the Council. I wonder if her timid spirit, no, not timid. That is a dishonor to a lady like Bly. She is soft spoken, gentle, and reserved, but never timid. She has the heart of a lion while being as docile as a lamb

He smiled at the thought, and continued writing before he could slip into a daydream filled with thoughts of the fair lady who had captured his heart.

But I do have to wonder if she stays away from my because of this sudden news of my pedigree. All Voronwë watches me, and I can only wonder if a part of Bly is shy of me now. No matter, some sort of elvish gathering is being held tonight, and I have great faith she will attend.

He laid down his pen for good, and looked out the window for the time, the sun was at the 5'O'clock position, and the festival started at the same time the night fell. He had to get ready.


Fires burned, despite the warm weather, and Xander scanned the crowds for a certain blond Elf.
If he ever thought market day in Aragathia was crowded, he was wrong.
However, the elvish people all shared a sort of graceful, gliding step that he had noticed in Bly, and he wasn't jostled as he would be in the Aragathian market place.
Plus, there seemed to be no pick pockets. That was comforting.
"And this is the visiting King!" He felt his arm grabbed by a young Elvish man, a complete stranger.
Xander wanted to rush off with just a quick nod, he yearned to find Bly. But, manners were even more important now, and he bowed his head once, "Unless two kings are visiting this beautiful city, I am he"
The man grinned practically from ear to ear, "What a pleasure to have you mingle among our people tonight, My lord. I'm Tyrous, and this is my sister, Yilliandra. We're from the house of Fernwalker" The man pulled a young woman closer to him, and, Xander thought it was impossible for it to be so, but his grin grew bigger. He wore the same look as a merchant who was ready to sell something, and just knew the customer wouldn't resist.
The woman, Yilliandra, looked purely embarrassed, and tried tugging away, but Tyrous held her arm tighter.
She raided big green eyes to Xander's face, "it is a pleasure to have such a distinguished visitor to our city"
"We'd love to have you in our home at some point of time, the near future, Oh great one" Tyrous' grin irked Xander, it seemed...buttery, too merchant like.
"I'm sure I co-" Xander felt a hand on his arm, and paused his words to look down, and felt giddy butterflies in his stomach.
"Tyrous, stop trying to marry your poor sister off. It's hardly becoming, and less so on the king of Aragathia. Besides, Yilli looks ready to dash off and drown herself. Marry your own self off, you fool. Maybe only then you can improve your family's pitiful social standing" Bly's words were softly spoken, but strong enough to get her point across: scoot
The siblings disappeared in the crowds, and Xander blew out a sigh of relief, "Knights might save beautiful women from deadly perils, but sometimes the very same knights need those very same ladies to save them from awkward social meetings" he offered her his arm with a smile, and she blushed softly as she accepted it.
"Nonsense, my lord. You won't always have little Bly Uaine to come to your aid. Besides, you aren't a simple knight anymore"
If I was, would you allow yourself to love me?
Now would be the perfect time to tell her how he felt, to tell her that he wished for her to always be by his side, but her name was called, and she perked up. "Oh, Xander, come meet my oldest brother, Lithônien!"
He smiled at the familiarity of her words, being called "Xander" instead of "My Lord".
Another Elf, tall, but not nearly the same giant Thalion is, approached them. He wore the garb of the Scholars, perhaps more decorated and impressive, but the blue and silver robe was unmistakable.
"Lithônien, this is Xander, the Blood Prince of Aragathia. And, Xander, my brother, Lithônien. He is head scholar and I imagine probably the most knowledgable man in Voronwë" Bly practically beamed with pride.
Her brother had harsh blue eyes that looked as if they could freeze boiling water in the summer sun, and his face was like a stone, no emotion except perhaps, annoyance and disdain, coming across it.
"It is a pleasure to meet such a man as yourself, Master Lithônien" Xander extended his hand, but the Elf simply looked at it, "so I'm sure it is. I have come to speak to my sister, pardon us" the elder brother pulled his sister aside, and Bly cast Xander a pleading look.
"well, that went well..." He didn't realize he had spoken aloud until a soft voice piped up from behind him. "Do pardon Lithônien. It isn't you he has problems with, but humanity on a whole. His pride is unbearably even to most elves"
He turned and found another scholar, her hair tumbling out of a loose braid and eyes cast to the floor. She looked familiar, but he couldn't place where he saw her...
"Oh, do pardon me as well to speaking to you without introducing myself, Prince!" She curtsied, and nearly fell from trying to hastily. Xander caught her arm and smiled, "oh, I'm not put off, at least, not by you. In fact, I should thank you. I thought I had done something to offend the man"
He looked back to Bly and her brother, she seemed to be doing most of the talking now, and her face was flushed as if in frustration.
"I'm Scholar Alora" the other Elvish lady spoke again, and he turned his attention back to her.
"Alora? Than you are the scholar who was in the council hall?"
The lady looked delighted at having been remembered and nodded happily, "so it was I"
"Than, I am glad to properly meet your acquaintance, good lady" Xander bowed, causing her to giggle and flush with happiness. Did the poor flustered scholar not get praise? As he remembered who she worked with, he supposed it shouldn't surprise him.
Bly practically stomped back, and nodded once to Alora as Lithônien gestured for her to follow him. As soon as the scholars were vanished in the crowd Bly again took Xander's arm. "Forgive Lithônien. He has a pride that could use some bruising and a disgruntle against mankind that just won't be healed. It has nothing to do with you as a person"
He walked with her through the bustle as music played. It struck him as odd, that even though music was being played and many were beginning to dance, no singing was heard. Was it a custom? Or did elves just not sing?
"What sort of folly has my kind done to gain your brother's cold shoulder?" He hated asking it the moment he did, as it seemed like every foolish action, unjust ruling, unneeded war, mankind had ever made flooded his mind.
But Bly's answer was spoken in soft to Ed, and wasn't the words he expected. "A human man took away the woman Lithônien loved"
She gave him a pointed look, as if there was a puzzle and she had given him a piece of it, the last piece, perhaps.
"Human....did he kill her?" He could see that wasn't the answer, "no? but, the only recorded elf/human marriage was....oh...Bly....good heavens..."
She nodded, "Adan and Rhiana"
"You mean to say, your brother, was in love with my, my...my grandmother?!"
He couldn't decide if he needed to sit down, or was too shocked to do anything but stand there.
Bly looked amused, and her head leaned against his shoulder, "Come now, good Sir, you look as if you had seen a ghost. Have you forgotten the vast lengths of our lifetimes?"
"N-no....I haven't...I just....my grandmother?" The next question came up unbidden, "did you know her?"
Bly shrugged, "all Voronwë knew her. She was the 'Golden Star of Silver City". Rhiana is fabled to be the most beautiful woman to ever walk this earth. Of course, each century a new beauty pops up, but I cannot deny she was striking" Bly looked off amongst her people, and spoke in tones that betrayed she was in times long ago, or was it just yesterday?
"She was brave, and skilled with weapons. But she was gentle, and it seemed no one could ever hate her. Actually, there was a running joke amongst us that Rhiana could look into the eyes of an Ortrov, and tame it" Xander found a tree with a bench running around it's trunk, and settled them on it, and listened intently to these tales of the woman he was blessed to have in his line. "She truly was the perfect woman. And to everyone, it was obvious Lithonien had feelings for her, but what young, unattached man didn't? And then, Adan came, and I remember everyone saying, the moment they laid eyes upon each other, it was as if the room was filled with a bright light. Adan was only a Prince then, but as soon as he was given the crown, he rushed back, and begged Rhiana to marry him. She didn't need a second asking" Bly smiled, her heart lightened by the tales of long ago love. "I was too young to attend the wedding, I remember I was so upset, and felt left out. Thalion was going, as were our parents. I remember Lithônien wiping my eyes, and telling me he'd stay with me, that I didn't have to be alone....he smiled as he said that. I didn't realize he was crying inside, I was too young...." Her voice
trailed off, and her eyes grew sad, "that was the last time he ever smiled".
They sat in silence, the music seemed just a background distraction now. Xander spotted Lithônien weaving in and out of the crowd, a sort of stern black ship sailing alone in rejoicing waters. Alora followed behind him, and he suddenly felt worse for her than the broken elf.
"Do you think, he will ever love again?" The two disappeared again, and Bly shrugged, "who knows, the heart can either remain forever bitter, or melt with spring. Why do you ask?"
"No reason"


The moon was a beautiful sight in Voronwë. Silver shining upon silver buildings, the dark sky contrasting the shining beauty of both the cold lady of the sky, and the still Elvish city.
But it wasn't the striking elegance of the nighttime Voronwë that kept Xander awake as the city slept.
He had hoped the council would make a decision today, and with each passing hour, he felt a yearning to head off to face either his defeat or his triumph. May God allow it to be a triumph!
He sat on his balcony, a thin flute of Elvish wine in his hand. Or, rather, they called it wine. It was more grape juice, than fermented wine; he had had the stuff Felix consumed at shocking rates, and there was a rather large difference.
But there came a cry from sone sort of elvish brass instrument (what he had learned as to be the alarm) in the general direction of the Southern side of the city.
The city he had thought to have been sleeping was like an ant's nest poked by a young boy's stick, suddenly alive and scrambling.
A runner dashed through the streets, shouting something in elvish, and like a mob, a graceful mob, the people rushed from their homes, and down to the southern gate of the city.
Something was happening, and it seemed big.
Xander pulled his cloak on, and joined the street swarm.
There wasn't a sense of danger amongst the elvish people, but poorly suppressed excitement.
Oddly, Lithônien appeared before him, acting most eager to get there, dashing and winding his way around the people. He wasn't dressed in his scholar's uniform, but a more worn, and plain brown robe.
"Lithônien Uaine!" Xander called for him, but it took two more shouts before the elf even half halted, "What do you want, human? I cannot be detained"
rude, but, why should I expect him not to be? "what is all this about? I don't sense danger, what has caused such commotion?"
Lithônien gestured for Xander to keep up pace with him, and spoke as they wove in and out of the crowd, "A Greer has entered the barrier, and was found waiting outside the southern gate. To meet such beings, is an honour beyond all honours, and I must get there before it leaves. Only once has another scholar put down the account of meeting a Greer"
A Greer? Was it the very same one that had saved them from the Dragon? Lady Ou Een?
Walking at their swift pace, the elf and human reached the southern gate in record time, and Xander's suspicions were confirmed.
As majestic and awe inspiring as when they had first seen her, Ou Een stood outside Voronwë's walls, easily towering over them.
Her grey eyes scanned the gathering crowd, as if she were searching for someone, and a look much skin to that of a lost little girl had settled on her face.
It appeared a few other scholars were trying to mentally communicate with her, and they parted as Lithônien approached.
"We are unsure why it is here, Master Scholar. It refuses to even consider our presence"
For some strange reason, to hear Ou Een called "it" irked Xander, and he snapped sharply, "Ou Een is her name. Do not disgrace her by addressing her like nothing more than a new creature"
The Elves looked amazed, but Ou Een's gaze settled on him, and lightened considerably, her lost look fading.
A picture flashed through his mind of Thalion and Bly, along with a question of mark...a question?
He bowed to her, and nodded, sending the mental image of the two embracing as the reunited.
Her happy look quickly turned to one of grief, and she reached her hand down into the city for him to climb into.
Xander had to admit, the look on Lithonien's face was beyond all price.
The Greer sent a sudden tumble of images into his head, along with a tumult of emotions, almost giving him a headache.
She audibly sighed, and slowed down to one mental frame at a time.
Thalion, darting from Voronwë's purity shield.
Adonis, not seeing him.
A dragon...a dragon? Why was there a dragon?
Thalion, pursued, and running away from Adonis. Was he sidetracking the dragon from Adonis, or was he the target?
The Dragon, with a battered Thalion in it's scaly claws, flying south east, towards...
Towards Aragathia.
Xander's eyes flew open, and Ou Een looked apologetic, even fearful.
"Xander! Ou Een!" Bly's voice called from below, and Xander met the Greer's eyes.
Pleading. Begging.    P. L. E. A. S. E.     D. O. N. T.    M. A. K. E.   Ou Een     T. E. L. L.     Bly
Xander nodded once, and Ou Enn put him back down, and she bowed to the gathering of awed Elves, and disappeared back into her forest, but not before sending one last image of an oblivious Adonis, racing towards Revelin with her companion, a second Greer, trailing him, keeping harm from him.
Xander watched her go, his hands clenched at his side as Bly rushed up to him, and the elves stood at a respectably distance.
"What was she here for, Xander?" Bly's eyes were wide, but not from fear.
She suspected nothing....
Is Thalion dead? Or, does he live in chains? What would Felix do to him? And why was he being pursued?

"Bly....she came with news of Thalion" and in that instant, her blue eyes turned fearful.  Any news Ou Een would come so far out of her comfort zone to tell them, it couldn't be good news. "W-what is...is he fine, Xander? Oh please tell me he is! What has happened? What about Adonis? Did he safely reach Revelin?" 
Xander held her hands as tightly as he could while still being gentle, and felt Lithônien inch closer to hear the news of his younger brother. 
"Bly, Adonis made it safely to Revelin, Ou Een's companion has followed him to the camp, but your brother.." he glanced over his shoulder at Lithônien, making it clear he was including him in this intercourse, "One of Andromeda's dragons captured him, and-" Lithônien pushed past him headed towards the council chambers, and the crowd parted for him.  Bly choked back a sob, and fell against Xander, clutching at his tunic.  "T-tell me....Xander....d-did Ou Een say i-if he...w-was..." she couldn't get the word out, but Xander understood.  "He was still alive when the dragon took off with him"
No need to tell her that Felix probably had already order a formal execution, or some form of torture.
"But why? For what ends did they capture Thalion? It has something to do with the same reasons I was captured! I know it Xander! It has to be!"

By morning, the reasoning for Lithônien's storming away was made clear, it seemed he had given the council a verbal sparring, undoubtably putting his own position in the risk by speaking so harshly to those who ruled Voronwë. But, they listened, their aged wisdom allowing humility. And the Voronwë army had been aroused.
It struck Xander as interesting, to the average onlooker, Voronwë was like a peacefully flowing river. Never leaving it's path, nor causing harm.
But in times like this, as they prepared to march against a threat, the river was raging, and whoever stood in the path of it's force, wouldn't stand long before being pushed down by it's violent current.

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