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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Chapter 6: New Characters arrive in the newest update of this short story. They approach Seryna with a new quest. Vaeril and Seryna begin their one to one dual, where she discovers true nature of Arathorn magic. She cannot decide whether the strange newcomers should be friends or foes? But they do offer a tempting insight of knowledge to current situation unfolding in the Nethaleen forest, which would help her greatly with her quest.

Submitted: June 20, 2016

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Submitted: June 20, 2016







Chapter Six



Cover art from madnessdemon.tumblr

Source of art: Pinterest

Short story inspired by the DA franchise

Written by Booksie member Haku








The Beetle and the Snake

Vaeril raised his eyebrows and grinned “I accept. My magic may be beyond your level of expertise though, I must warn you of that”
“Really” Seryna said with a hint of sarcasm “Ready when you are, fairy elf!”
“Do not call me that!” He retorted, sounding pompous again as he straightened his back self consciously and summoned his staff, which flew into his hand. He stepped backwards to let a space form between them “When you – excuse me. When one of us falls to the ground, we’ll call it a win. Agreed?”
“Seems fair to me.” 
There was a moment of silence as they both gathered their battle focus. Seryna created an energy absorbing shield from her mana, her magical energy. Maryden taught her that a mage must focus on their mana and it’s recovery, because wielding many magical spells at one time will exhaust the mana energy. If this happens, the only weapon a mage has is their bare fists or the forged weaponry they have equipped themselves with. When shadows grew within the forest, Seryna noticed what spell Vaegil was casting. He was absorbing the light, and must have been converting it into magical energy.
“That’s extraordinary!” Seryna said with admiration. 
“You should see what I can do in the darkness, Seryna. If you think I would be helpless that circumstance, you’re wrong.” He replied, with a sudden air of confidence.
Seryna took aim and conjured and ice spell, which should freeze Vaeril on the spot. But he deflected it with a transparent shield, and it backfired. Cold ice stood around her feet, and travelled up her legs, making her shiver violently. Vaegil was edging closer to her. He will be casting another spell, Seryna predicted. This time she lay an ice mine underneath his feet. He noticed it, but a moment too late, and his entire body was covered in a thick layer of ice. Seryna melted hers with the warmth of fire, and embedded another mine under his feet, this time using the flame elements. 
This was a mistake. He still absorbed light energy, and it was being drained from the flames this time. It was not only sunlight that he could use for power. Then Vaegil thawed out from the ice and it smashed, shards flying in every direction. 
“I am the ultimate defence Seryna. You see why now? I was blessed with the power to absorb light!” He grinned at her again, winking this time.
“Then show me. Try this!”
As she said this, her staff hit the ground and she summoned an entire wall of fire, encircled around him. Then she conjured rock-shaped fist and fired them in his direction, intending to knock him over, but he continued to block them with a shield. Again and again she tried, hoping his energy would be exhausted by now. The wall of fire was dying slowly, retreating from him as it crackled loudly. Seryna felt the heat breaking her into a sweat immediately. 
She tried fired stone fists at the trees behind him, but he blocked it when they bounced back towards him. Seryna was forced into a last resort. Spinning her staff, she sent jolts of electricity travelling rapidly up his body, hoping the blast would have an effect. He there shocked for a brief moment then recovered.
“Sorry, but that was the worst move you tried yet.” 
Seryna felt all hope of winning the dual leave her. Suddenly there was a beaming light coming from him, bright as the sun, flashing like lightning. All she could do was stand there, shielding her face, when a great force swept past her, so vigorous it knocked her backwards, even thought she had used all her might to keep her feet on the ground. 
The beam disappeared when she raised her head. Vaegil was standing in the exact same place he was when the dual had taken place. She felt a gloomy disappointment. The huntress was right. I am hardly a proper mage, she thought meekly, and sighed.
The earth on the ground below her cracked open. To her surprise, lava spat at her from underneath it, blazing bright between the quakes. It was running between the cracked earths like blood pulsing through veins. She had never seen anything like it before.
“Stop, Vaegil, the dual is finished!” 
But when she looked at him, looked as stunned as she felt. He made a move and attempted to absorb it. The next moment he was bent over, making the sounds of pain. His skin suddenly looked very pink, with veins making a prominent appearance under his skin. 
“Ice” He choked, looking at her desperately. His face was reaching a shade of purple.
Seryna used the freezing spell on him again. He seemed to recover, his skin streaming in relief. She ran to him, but someone pushed her backwards with violent force, and she went flying into a tree, weak as a small animal of prey. A figure wearing the armour gleaming in a shade darker than black. It reminded Seryna of a black horned beetle. Their armour had the most detailed shapes of spikes on the plates. Through the narrow slit of the helm pair of black eyes was staring down at her. They slid a narrow sword from the belt. 
She heard cursing and Vaegil flumped down next do her, and conjured his transparent shield. From inside it, Seryna could see the surface of it now. Moving pieces of shining dust were floating around, trapped in the form of a glassy sphere. The black figure swung the sword at an impressive speed.
Vaeril’s shield shattered, shards falling to the ground and disappearing into dust when it hit. When they hadn’t felt the swords impact, they peered between their arms and saw that armoured person seemed to be struggling. The clashing sounds of blades rung in the air. An opponent had appeared. 
Remera had returned. Her pair of daggers were crossed, pressing against the attackers slim blade. She let go and rolled over, stood up flexibly, and thrust one of her daggers into their back. When they began to turn, she jumped and clung onto the back of them in one cat-like movement, Her legs wrapped around their waist, and with effort, she flung the attackers horned helm off, throwing it to the ground.
It was a male elf with pale white skin and black hair, who was tugged at her limps which were clutching on his armour. He froze when Remera laid a cold blade to his neck. Seryna was certain she would swipe her blade across the artery inside his neck, but her hands were pulled from him by multiple black arms with the shapes of small hands. They threw her onto the ground, and then imprisoned the elf, leaving them both immobile. 
 “Seryna! They are dark elves, it’s was the...“ Remera lay on the ground, her voice catching in her throat and producing a quiet croaking sound as she spoke. It faded, as a black slithery hand forced her mouth closed. Another elf approached, with a face of the most peculiar features. With a similar appearance to the elf warrior, she had jet black tied back from her face, and the same beetle black eyes, almond shaped. Their skin of their mature faces was a soft light brown, and their faces clearly belonging to a different ethnicity from theirs. What makes her strange was the red colour covering the entirety of her eyelids. The girl’s brows and lashes were white, like ice frosting. Her red robes had been embroidered. She stood in front of Seryna.
“Hello Seryna” She spoke in a soft, quiet voice. “We’ve been looking for you. I’m glad to have found you. My sorcery found you when you touched the black and orange gem of Falkeroth. I apologize for the symptoms you’ve suffered from it. It was a bewitched gem, and its effects would have been far worse if I hadn’t reached you. From this I foresaw your future using the prophecy. It told me our paths would meet as enemies. But I don’t want that. I want you to discuss with me. I believe you can help me, and in return and I can of great use to you.” She gestured to herself, pointing a small finger to her chest. “My name is Rae. This is Elren.  I’m sorry about earlier.” 
Seryna didn’t understand what was apologizing for, until she glanced at the cracked ground.
“I wanted to have a little fun you see. Elren didn’t understand this, and mistook you for enemies I wanted him to kill. I will let him go now. He won’t hurt you.”
The black hands slipped away from the black warrior, slithering along flat on the ground, then spiralled up her legs and disappeared. Her companion she named Elren shifted slightly when he was freed. 
Vaegil was casting the dirtiest of looks. He turned and spat on the ground. Remera was still trapped in her grips, but her eyes were glaring at her with a mixture of fear and contempt. The girl called Rae saw these looks of spite, but ignored it. 
“We are elves of clan Sabrae, from the eastern lands of Sabria. I would like you to join me in my quest, and guide me into the place you found the gems. If you accept my request, you may ask anything you want of us.”
“Tell me more of this quest, then, Raenaris of Sabrae. Why are you asking me, of all people, to help you with your task?”
“You may think you are not strong enough. But your strength has potential. A demon confronted you in the second realm, am I correct? And you fought this. It is no surprise your clan leader kept you after that. Join me, and I will give you all the answers you desired ever since you became a mage. You went into the castle seeking to uncover hidden knowledge. The answers that would make the truths become clear. Your mind is mist, preventing you from seeing reality clearly, the way it appears. Every connection you have had with another was never fulfilling enough for you. You try to reach out at any given opportunity. Even if that meant making an impulsive decision. It adds meaning you’ve always wanted. Others of your kind –“ she looked behind her shoulder at Remera, “-simply accept the reality in front of them. You don’t. Because to you, it doesn’t make sense.” 
“What are you?”
“She’s a witch.” Vaeril said fervently.
“I am. I am one of the heirs of our leader. We are all siblings. I want to become the next leader, because I believe I can achieve more than my brethrens can. If you come with us, I will take you to the lands of Sabria. When I return there, after I have obtained an elaborate amount of information that will enhance my powers to their greatest ability, my quest will continue. I will travel into the volcanic mountains, where most Dragons are located. When I find one, I need help to tame it. All dragons will kill on sight, but I will find out how to earn its loyalty. Then I will ride it and return to my clan. If I could do this, I will become the first dragon rider that has existed in centuries. Four hundred and fifty five years, to be precise” When she said this, Seryna saw her eyes glinting.
“You are insane!” Vaegil said, nodding as if convincing himself that his insult was true.
“Why are you so desperate to become the next leader of your clan? What do you think you are gaining from this?”
“The secret of immortality. If I have a high position of power, the people respect me, I will be able to prevent the being from becoming immortal. Past heroes of our clan have been lost because pushed their ambitions too far, threatening and vanquishing anyone who stands in their way. They thought everyone was beneath them. Because so many of our leaders have suffered this fate, other clans resent us”.  
Seryna looked at her companion, expecting him to speak or show a sign of approval. But he was sitting down in front of a tree. To her surprise, he looked highly uninterested, as he examined a flower he had picked up from the ground as if it was something he'd never seen.

"We also hate your clan because you practice necromancy!" Vaeril said derisively, his cheeks flushing angrily as if her mere presence angered him. Seryna thought she could see his tattoos glowering suddenly, like an current of energy starting to accelerate. "I knew it was your black magic as soon as she touched it" He looked at Seryna.

She felt accused by his statement. She looked at Rae again, expecting her to respond with a defensive argument. But her pink lips didn't move.

Seryna decided to persuade her accompanying elves. "Vaeril, she is offering us information. If they know anything at all about the Quanari and what they are doing, we could stop them. If you don't want to do it for them, do it for your people."

"No, you have to get back and warn your clan. Don't put your trust in these people. Black magic is always bad news Seryna." He said as if the outsiders were not even standing there in front of them. 

For the first time, Remera spoke. "If you refuse her offer, they will kill us all." 

"Release her" Seryna told the young sorcerous after a few moments, breaking the silence that fell after Remera had spoken.

"I'm afraid I cannot. She will undoubtedly try to attack us. We do not wish to enforce violence, unlike these other trespassers do."

"Tell me, and I will join you." Seryna said, ignoring Remera and Vaeril who were shouting at her in defiance, "You will free them, help us prevent a declared war in this forest and never use your magic on me again."

"If you want me to help you fight the quanari, I cannot cease to use you for my prophecy."

This made Seryna feel nervous. Why would she need her use her magic? The prospect of becoming a pawn for her dark magic was unnerving, even if it were for the greater good. Her mind swan with questions and possibilites of how she connects to her prophecy.

"...I don't understand."

The girl smiled at her slightly, as if trying to comfort her when sensing her worrisome thoughts. 

"You do not need to worry. I do not threaten your life. After all, I do want your assistance with my own quest, a journey which I will embark on when a finally leave this forest." Seryna was paralysed with indecision. After she gave no response, Rae continued.

"I promise you this. I will use my prophecy to help you prevent the clans for declaring war. As a mage yourself, you may become a part of my dark magic. Your friends will be unharmed, and I will permit them to leave, unless they attack us first. Then we will kill them in self defence." The girls soft voice seemed to strengthen, growing into the sound of a leader. "In turn, I will use the resources and secrets of this forest to enhance my magic. This requires you too, to develop your magic. As I said, I see great power in you - I know this power in your magecraft, the potential it holds. Then you will come with us to our homeland, to help me gain the power of leadership. I cannot explain to you, why I have chosen you, as you are not ready to hear the truth. But you can trust me, as I am entrusting you, by training you with my own power. Do you agree on these terms?"

This time Seryna did not pause. She had made her decision long ago.

"Yes. I accept your request, Rae of Sabrae. You will join me, and I will join you."

--end of chapter six








End of Chapter Notes Section:


End of Chapter Notes: Clan Sabrae is a community of dark elves situated in the eastern district, who worship dragons, creatures that are rare but most common in the volcanic environment of Sabria. Many lost heroes of the clan had died in attempt to ride a dragon and prove their strength to the clan, or all races. The most evil elves to have existed were born and raised in the Sabrae Clan, which other races whisper amongst themselves. The clan is feared not just for the past events, but for the amount of mages that a born in the clan. They call magic “Sorcery” for it is a darker and much more arcane form of magic. Due to this, the people of the clan have strange traditions, worshipping the dead, burning their clan tattoos on their skin, and practicing prophetic rituals to determine ones destiny. 

Clan Arathron is the third elven clan, which seems to have the most conflicting societal values with the elves of Sabrae. As Vaeril explained in the previous chapter, these elves as not typically elven because they are evolved forms of the mythical fairy. This does not neccessarily mean they ancesters used to sparkle and have butterfly-like wings precisely. This clan seeks to dig up any hidden relics of the past to uncover the secrets of their ancestry. As a community, they are light hearted folks with a compassionate nature, tradionally valuing care and altruism. They are the ultimate caregivers of all elves, mastering defensive and spritual magic. Their clan leaders are expected to maintain and care for the wellbeing of their people. So, you can understand how they naturally dissaprove of dark magic. The children were raised to believe that dark and prophetic magic only means danger to a person who discovers it.

Of couse all communities have a black sheep, someone who is unusual to their community or impopular due to being different somehow. Clan's are just the same. There are members who did not display typical behaviors of a person belonging  to a certain clan.

© Copyright 2018 Haku. All rights reserved.

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