Dawnborne Legacy: Liberation of Velarone

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SURROGACY USING WEIRD MAGIC

I am standing right in the middle of the courtroom inside the palace in Velarone, except it looks a little bit different.

It doesn’t have the exotic flowers or the large trees with assorted leaves, it contains no vegetation at all. And the people inside are all druids, wearing their traditional leaf clothes. There are no signs of the modern businessmen—or business-elf—wearing formal suits like the ones in the meeting when Rupnert tricked the rebels into attacking the palace. All of them looks very young, even Archdruid Triandal.

Archdruid Triandal is sitting on the same spot where he sat at the meeting—the seat of the arch druid of the highest rank. His beard hasn’t grown yet. He is holding an amulet in his right hand—my grandfather’s amulet. The crowd is booing me—my grandfather rather, I’m possessing his body again—and some are even cursing and spitting in my direction.

“Enough!” I yelled at the crowd without my control, “This man is a traitor, he brought an army of goblins into the grove of the dryads.”

“Nonsense,” an Archdruid told me, “it’s impossible to form an army of goblins, they live in very small tribes, no one would waste his time gathering a bunch of mindless creatures.”

“I agree,” another Archdruid agreed, “and he said that the goblins can cast advance spells, that’s just ridiculous.”

The others laughed at this remark.

“This traitor may have burned the whole grove and killed his companions to seize the power of the amulet for himself. I think he may have also used mind control spell on his other companion—” the druid was cut off by another one.

“No,” a druid rose up from his seat, “I believe that his other companion is his brother. They might have planned all of this in the beginning, to use the sorceress Glinda of the House Elydionus to gain influence then betray Faernwood.”

“But I thought they were heroes, weren’t they supposed to saved Faernwood as is stated in the prophecy?” Another druid voiced out from the seats at the back.

Archdruid Triandal rose up from his seat too, “They might just be corrupted by the power of the Svartalfar, maybe we can use mind control spells on them to counter the ones used by the Svartalfar. We just need to—”

“You filthy liar!” Edward entered the room, he is wearing ragged clothes and his body is covered with fresh wounds—a sign of torture. The people inside the room gasped. “Don’t listen to him, this man is nothing but a fraud.”

“Don’t worry, the anti-corruption spell takes some time to work.” Archdruid Triandal waved Edwyrd off and then turned to the guards, “Please take this man back to the dungeons.”

“I won’t let you succeed in your filthy plans!” Brilliant white light erupted from Edwyrd’s body.

All the people inside were blinded by the magnificent light except for the two of us. I cast a spell to knock Archdruid Triandal on the ground and took the opportunity to grab the amulet back.

Edwyrd and I ran down the halls and were met by dozens of Velaronian guards. The both of us turned into our light elf form and used invisible forces to knock the guards out, because killing them will only prove that we are the ones who betrayed Faernwood instead of Archdruid Triandal.

A couple more guards blocked the exit and we just pushed them all with ease using our enhanced light elven strength like they were nothing. A mob of really angry elven people are rallying outside the palace demanding our execution, and they saw us. They started throwing projectiles and spells in our direction. We dodged all of them but the crowd is blocking our way.

We manage to reach the gate out of the city by flying directly to it. But that made us easy targets for the Velaronian archers, especially the huntresses and rangers. An arrow hit Edwyrd at the back but bounced off his hardened aura armor. The terrible things that happened to us taught us to trust very few people, that’s why it became normal to us to always have our aura hardened at least a little bit to avoid injuries from a surprise attack.

We flew far away from the capital city of Faernwood. I suggested that we spend the night in the cave nearby because the village will likely turn us in to our pursuers, Edwyrd was against this, he said that wild animals and stray monsters are more dangerous than some couple of farmers. I managed to convince him after a while.

Setting up a campfire is not a good idea since that would mean that we are giving out our location. Edwyrd just used some spell that provides a bit of light, bright enough to see our surroundings but not too bright as to give our location.

“I should have killed him when I had the chance.” I said with mixed emotion of anger and regret.

“Archdruid Triandal must have some protection spells on so it would just make us look worse, we were branded as traitors and if you managed to at least hurt Triandal, that would make them think that we are also petty criminals.”

“Who cares what they think? They are all going to die if we failed to stop Triandal.”

“We still have a chance to win. Archdruid Triandal hasn’t accessed the amulet yet, which he needs to learn the ritual to open a gate to Svartalfheim using the Tree of Life.”

“Yeah, the Tree of Life has some protections on it and it won’t be destroyed unless he knows how to dispel the light elven enchantments on it.”

“Brother,” Edwyrd looked down on the ground as if he became embarrassed to face me, “I’m sorry but I hope you understand.”

“Understand what?” I asked him.

“I know you told me not to use Soul magic no matter what but—"

“You used Soul magic?” My blood is starting to boil, “I told you it’s dangerous, you could be trapped in the Abyss forever! Why are you so stubborn?”

He sighed, “I knew that Glinda was pregnant with your child so I took the soul of that child and preserved it—”

I pushed him into the wall and held him up an inch above the ground, glaring at him and trying to suppress my anger, “You did what?”

He started to shake with nervousness and fear, “It had to be done. We can’t be sure if we are going to succeed in stopping Triandal. Someone has to replace us if we failed.”

He showed me a small glowing vial, a tiny sphere is floating inside it, glowing with green light. The soul of my child with Glinda. I tried to calm myself and my anger is starting to fade. I took the glowing container and stared at it.

“This is my child?” I asked while slowly putting him down.

“His soul, yes.”

“His. So he is a boy?”

“Yes, but I can’t sense much light elven magic in him. So our successor, in case we fail, will more likely be your grandson or one of his descendants.”

“One of his descendants? But we don’t have that much time.”

“That’s why we still have to stop Triandal now. He is just a backup plan.”

“But how does it work? How are we going to give him life—or a body?”

“You have to produce a child with another woman and place this soul into the child’s body before another soul claims it.” He noticed my confusion, “Don’t worry, you are not killing anyone. You are going to perform a ritual while you are doing the—you know.”

He made some gestures. I rolled my eyes, “As you were saying?”

“That ritual will make this soul the rightful owner of the body being formed. Think of it like we are giving him some sort of reservation in a hotel, except we reserve the body for him instead of a room.”

“I don’t get it, why do we need to use this child’s soul? I—or you could have just produced a child with another woman without using Soul magic, the child would still inherit our powers.”

“Yes, that would work. But this soul does not only contain the magic of a light elf, it also has Glinda’s divine bloodline remember? One of his descendants might possess the power of the divine deity Elydiona, the goddess of the sky in the legends of the bird-folks. It may turn out to be a big help to the person that will defeat Triandal in case we didn’t succeed.”

I agreed to his point but I still have some doubts, “Does this ritual use animal sacrifices and stuff?”

I am still hesitating about this ritual. This Soul magic—or necromancy as humans call it—really creeps me out, I wonder how Edwyrd talks about it like it is nothing unusual.

“Um, no.” He chuckled, “Is that what you think Soul magic is? The typical depictions of necromancy in films and children’s fairytales?”

“Even if it is not the same, Soul magic still corrupts a person’s soul.” I gestured at him, “Look at you, you look exactly like those zombies in the films your talking about.”

“Hey that’s not fair, I was beaten up inside a dungeon. Not everyone gets the same treatment as you.”

“Talking with a bunch of morons is not a that good of an experience, trust me.”

We heard noise outside the cave. It was Archdruid Triandal standing with Velaronian huntresses and rangers.

“I knew it!” The mad Archdruid saw the glowing soul inside the vial and grinned, “Their souls are corrupted by Soul magic, that’s why they betrayed Faernwood. Though I’m disappointed, I thought that I could save them but Soul magic is out of my grasp, they can no longer be saved.”

“Stop it with your filthy lie! We know that you are using magic from Svartalfheim.” Edwyrd produced a sword made of pure light. I did the same.

“Now they are trying to justify their treason by accusing me of absurd things.” Archdruid Triandal waved him off and turned to his companions, “Kill the talkative one but keep the other one alive. I still need him for questioning.”

An arrow pierced my shoulder. It is not a normal arrow, it contains the poison that killed Glinda. Fortunately, we discovered that Catharsis can cure the poison. I just wish that we discovered it earlier before Glinda died, I could have saved her. The bad thing is we were surrounded by the best warriors in Velarone along with the feared Velaronian huntresses and rangers, the best of the best.

Even with our light elven powers, the two of us don’t stand against all of them along with Archdruid Triandal’s dark magic. I have to make a decision. I turned to Edwyrd, “Go! Run and do your ritual, it’s our only chance. I will try to hold them here as long as I can.”

“I can’t just leave you here.” He refused, “You run instead and I’ll hold them off.”

I grabbed his arm with a firm grip, “Look, you are the only one who can conduct the ritual successfully. It will likely fail if I were to take your place.

“What are you blabbering about?” Archdruid Triandal interrupted, “No one is escaping.”

I raised my hand and blinded all the people inside the cave with a brilliant ball of light, stunning our persecutors.

“Go!” I pushed Edwyrd away, he was hesitant at first but decided that I was right and ran outside the cave in a flash.

“Don’t let them escape!” Archdruid Triandal yelled at the others, but it was too late. The moment the light is gone Edwyrd is nowhere to be seen.

The rangers tried to leave the cave. I struck the top of the entrance with a bolt of solid light and debris of rocks are starting to fall on it, blocking the entrance entirely. These warriors might be the most skilled in all of Faernwood, but they can’t use magic unlike their high elf counterparts. They all turned to face me.

“Might as well change our plans,” Archdruid Triandal grinned, “take him alive. We are going to use him as bait.”

“Not a chance.” I raised my sword of pure light and hardened my aura to form a magical armor around my body.

The warriors started to advance and I knocked them all out with ease. But the real problems are the huntresses and rangers trying to sneak on me with their predator instincts and agility of a wild animal.

I used all the spells I know to fight all of them, but Archdruid Triandal is somehow weakening the effects of my spells using his dark magic without the others noticing it. Or maybe the huntresses and rangers knew and they are part of the Archdruid’s plan all along.

I somehow managed to wound some of them but it just made them fight with more ferocity. I considered exploding the whole cave by releasing all the magic inside me, but that would kill me and I doubt that Archdruid Triandal will die in it, he will just use his dark energy to protect himself. But still, that would give Edwyrd some time to escape to a farther place. A sudden burst of magic won’t destroy my soul for it was already purified and refined by Catharsis— or at least its simplified form did. My soul can still survive and travel to the afterlife.

I closed my eyes, thinking that I will be with Glinda again in the afterlife. I stopped blocking the blows which confused the attackers. I radiated a brilliant blue light and pure magical energy erupted from my body, exploding and bringing down the whole place.

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