Aelin #1 - The Yjil

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is the first installment of a series of short fantasy stories set in the mysterious world of Aelin. Much like our own, Aelin is a world which possesses many different tribes, tongues, and nations. Though each short tale will be readable independently, every story opens up a deeper portal into a world vastly different, yet remarkably reflective of our own. Come and explore this fantastical world in this inaugural tale of culture and sacrifice with the Uyal of the Heilhoondan plain!

{Hope you enjoy! Feel free to leave comments or criticisms below. I hope to improve these stories and my writing the more I publish!}

Submitted: March 03, 2015

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Submitted: March 03, 2015

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The golden sun beat down upon the face of the rock. It always did during the seasons of fire, almost unrelentingly were it not for the intermittent breeze along the Heilhoondan plain. On these cliff faces, however, divine aid would not be granted. She was on her own, cursed to bear the weight of need for her village; she was Djal.

Silver eyes looked out over the sparsely grassed fields beneath her. How she longed to be back in them again! She had known so little of the Unjun. Nearly every adult in Ujodi kept themselves far enough away from them, let alone their children. They all knew the price which had to be paid were one to look into the eyes of Dyojal. They were the cursed, eternally damned souls who sacrificed their ascension into Eilo in order to listen to Uju - Sun Father. It was he that fashioned the Uyal from the winds and rock, pressed the sun upon the plain, caused the sea to rise and fall, and kept the very blood of the Uyal in their veins. Though she always kept it secret, Eija had always known that she was favored by the divines - that she was destined for greatness. Often during the season of Illya she would use the extended darkness to wander into the wildgrass and dance before Ujua - the Mother-Bride. She could feel her joy every time the nightwinds kissed her; she could hear her voice in the field. Even now, Eija could hear her whispers from beneath the mountainside, like a young mother playing games with her child. Yet Ujua must now keep searching, and Eija continue climbing. Even the favor of his wife could not assuage the wrath of Uju.

She carefully resumed her standing position from where she had been seated on the cliff. Though she had reached a significant point, it would not be until she reached the pinnacle of Doyja-Eilo that she could reveal herself to Uju as Djal - the embodiment of all the wickedness brought about by the necessary craft of the Dyojal. She could feel the power coursing through her veins, trying to silence the pain of her hands and feet. Each step she took, each rock she grasped, was given her blood as a mark of her journey. The cuts still ached immensely, but she found that the more she climbed the less they bled. The dirt collected upon them also served to give her better grip, she assumed. That must have been why the Unjili told her to let them run for a while before embarking. All the Uyal were resting in her ability to reach the top; after all, it was not young Eija who had transgressed.

Since birth, the Unjili had passed onto the little Eymal the traditions revealed to the Dyojal. The Uyal had been chosen to care for Ujodi, and therefore Doyja-Eilo. Each season until they became full Uyal, the Eymal would travel with the Unjili to be taught the stories of Uju and Ujua, his bride. Eija often thought fondly the lessons, for it was there that she first felt the blessing of Ujua among the wildgrass. Though the lessons were long, it was the breath of Ujua which kept her awake through the night.

The sun continued its force as Eija's skin boiled beneath the Dyojal cloak. It was the only item which she was permitted during the Yjil. Once she reached the top, she would no longer have need for any covering. She must not be concealed before Uju, but rather appear as she was at birth. Uju must know that before him was one of his own: one of the Uyal, as it had been them who first betrayed him.

Eija had known Uhlo as an Eymal, though he was seven seasons older than she. When he had gone missing the year before her Duya-Ileilo most suspected that it was the work of the mixed Khe'aush of the south, but when the drought began, and the winds were less, word got around that the Unjun suspected the indignation of the gods. Measures were taken by the Dyojal to descry the word of Uju on this matter. The Unjili even led all Ujodi in supplication - men by day, women by night - to Uju and Ujua, but the curse only seemed to get worse.

It was three seasons ago that the plagues began. Eymal and Uyal alike were again cursed by Uju. The dead began to pile in the streets; Ujodi was in pure horror. Beast sacrifices were made at Doyja-Eilo, but to no avail. It was about this time that the Unjili had been told by the Dyojal that they would make the ultimate supplication before Uju - an Ojolu. Eija could remember hearing the voices of the Dyojal from outside the Udi, all awaiting the Unjun to finish their dark and lawless ritual.

The rock beneath Eija's left foot gave way as she grasped desperately onto the space found by her right hand. A scream escaped her lips while the rocks rebounded off the canyon wall below. She tried to focus upon finding a rest for her right foot, fighting against her ill-fate as she rocked parallel to the rock. There was not going back. She was either to die, or complete the Yjil. If she perished, Ujodi would perish with her. Trembling, she moved her foot upwards, trying to pull herself up by her arms. Eija whispered prayers to Ujua beneath her shaking breath. The sun was approaching the horizon. Time was running out.

By the time the Unjun discovered the transgression of Uhlo, it was much too late for any atoning action. The Ojolu had occurred, and the consequences were known. The fourth Djal would be chosen. From the beginning, it was always those female Uyal who possessed a special sense of divine presence who were chosen. They were considered blessed by either deity, or both, and therefore would be welcomed in the afterlife and given particular audience before Uju and Ujua. The Unjun had long known of Eija's ways before Ujua. Her dances in the wildgrass had not gone unnoticed. Such displays were common among those chosen among the chosen for particular honor. At first, the Dyojal had thought well of making her an Unjili, training her beneath its current occupant. However, when the transgression had come, it was left to her to carry out the deeds mysteriously bestowed upon her. The Unjili had informed her that as Djal she would be given the special honor of making the Uyal right before Uju. She would first have to blot out Uhlo, then journey to Doyja-Eilo for the Yjil

And blot out Uhlo, she did. The cries of him and his dishonored children - his Khe'aush wife - stood testament to Eija's dedication to Uyal purity. That it was on Khe'aushi territory, was simply an unfortunate coincidence.

The slope of Doyja-Eilo finally fell into the rounded plane before the opening where she was to present herself. The sun seemed to stand still as she looked downward into the swirling darkness of Doyja-Eilo, the very spirit of Uju and Ujua's unity. Her tanned skin felt the coolness of the air as she dropped her robe behind her. The hour had come. The Yjil was now to be committed.

The words which poured forth from her lips were of a forbidden tongue. Incantations of the Dyojal which excited the purpling swirl in the chasm beneath. She felt it now, the power, as her eyes began to ignite with reflections like a distant flame. The might of Uju laid upon her, and she glowed at the force of this reckoning. The sun met the horizon now. With each word, she felt the starlight come alive as if at her command. She couldn't help but lift her eyes, raise her hands, her heart filling with purest passion. Powerful winds took hold from behind her, the braid of her hair wisping forwards with the welcoming words of Ujua. The Yjil had been accepted. Tears poured from her eyes as lips became still, blossoming into a rhapsodious smile. She was now to ascend into Eilo, escorted by Ujua herself.

Her final step was simple enough. Once Eija had stepped into the abyss, everything seemed clear. She felt as if she descended slowly, though the encompassing blackness kept her from having any sort of sense for her environment. She closed her eyes and allowed the swirls to wrap around her. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply. The netherwind entered her lungs. She could feel herself fading from this life. At the gates of Eilo, one cannot help but meet the gods with a smile.


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