The Witching War (girlxgirl)

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Prologue

The Witching War began approximately 67 years ago when a group of anti-monarchist rebels attacked the palace of Meliora and slaughtered the Royal family of Sidus. The lone survivor of the attack was the youngest prince, Redd, who managed to escape thanks to a quick-thinking palace maid who sacrificed her life for him to remain unfound in the hidden tunnels of the castle. Redd, at only 8 years old, became the King of Sidus. Too young to rule on his own, Redd’s father’s most trustworthy friend and ally, Sebastien, became the Crown Regent. Sebastien commanded Sidus’ armies to fight against the rebels in hopes of squashing their rebellion before too many lives were lost. His efforts were in vain; as the war continued, the reasons for fighting each other multiplied and nothing could ever be resolved. Just before Redd came of age to rule, Sebastien was killed in a particularly brutal battle. This loss devastated Redd tremendously. As soon as he became king, he vowed to destroy Zodiaci for taking everyone he’s ever loved away from him.

For many years, Redd had no interest in women or taking a wife; he only cared for revenge. However, during a stroll through the snow-laden woods one winter evening, an arrow whizzed past his head connecting with the tree just beside him. When he looked to where the arrow came from, he saw the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyes on, perched on a tree branch with a bow in her hand. Enthralled by her beauty, he courted the elusive woman for 2 full years before finally winning her heart and making her his Queen. At 40 years old, Redd became a husband, and soon after, a father. His wife, Irena, gave birth to a beautiful dark-haired daughter; they named her Sidera, meaning luminous. Redd loved Sidera more than he ever thought possible to love anything. He adored her silky, dark black hair and her bright hazel eyes, and every time she smiled at him his heart let go of a little of the hurt he clung to from all those years ago.

Just after Sidera turned 4 years old, her mother up and disappeared without warning. Redd was enraged and blamed the Zodiaci, believing they kidnapped or killed her. Struggling to deal with the loss of yet another loved one, Redd became angry and distant. He ordered Sidus’ armies to rampage against Zodiaci and anyone loyal to them. The Witching War took a turn for the worse when Irena was gone. This continued for years, until Redd was killed during a reckless invasion of the Virgo Coven. Sidera, now 19, became Queen of Sidus and inherited a war she never quite understood to begin with.

Sidera didn’t believe in ruling with a king by her side. She would much rather do anything than give some man power over her Kingdom. There was only one man she tolerated in this world besides her father, and that was Cassiel. If she were to ever allow any man to sit beside her in power, it would have been him. Instead, she brought scandal upon the throne by having his bastard child. Although it mortified many of the council members and noble families, Sidera found it amusing how much they worried over other people’s lives. Cassiel was yet another casualty of the Witching War and Sidera was decidedly desensitized to these losses by now. She barely even batted an eye. It wasn’t until her young daughter, Nicolette, succumbed to illness at the age of 2 that she felt the enormity of loss she had faced. Sidera was a broken shell of a woman at only 22 years old after losing her father, mother, lover, and child along with countless of her Kingdom’s inhabitants.

Wicked, vile, sinister, evil, Sidera had heard them all. She’d been called them all. Sidera had gained a reputation over the last few years of her reign for being ruthless and diabolical. She simply did not care. In fact, she relished in it. When she began to hear whispers of an extremely gifted young witch born to the leader of the Scorpius Coven in Zodiaci, Sidera decided she needed to know more about her. She knew this could be an opportunity for revenge and planned to scope it out. After a few weeks of gathering intel, it was time to see the girl for herself. She traveled under the cloak of an illusion with her most trusted associate, Celeste, to Zodiaci to search for the young witch hoping that she’s as impressive as the rumors made her out to be.

When Sidera first lay eyes on the girl, she was taken aback at how young she was. The girl before her couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6. She had glossy brunette waves of hair flowing over her shoulders and her upturned, cat-like silver eyes were shrouded by thick, dark black lashes that curled upwards towards the sky and stood out against her porcelain skin. Sidera couldn’t help but think she looked like a doll; too perfect to have been made by genetics alone. There was something so familiar about the girl that Sidera couldn’t quite place. Maybe, she thought, they were kindred spirits; beautiful, powerful and misunderstood. It was then that the Queen decided she would take the child back with her to Meliora and raise her to be her successor.

When the child was alone, Celeste and Sidera snatched the girl and subdued her with a spell. They traveled back to Meliora with the girl and formulated a plan. Sidera decided she would curse the child to forget her old life and adopt her as her own. After days of waiting in agony, the girl woke, confused and emotional. Sidera was the first by her side; she told the young witch that she was found orphaned in the woods and that she is her mother, now. The Queen named the girl Zoraida to symbolize how enchanted she was when she first saw her.

Immediately, Zoraida accepted Sidera as her mother and they formed an intense bond. Zoraida idolized the Queen and Sidera couldn’t help but love the girl in return. Only months after she adopted Zoraida did she find out that her childhood friend was killed during a battle in retaliation for the kidnapping of Zoraida. Though nobody but Celeste knew of the girl or where she came from, Sidera felt immensely guilty for being the reason her friend died, leaving behind her 4-year-old daughter, Juniper. She decided the only way to make things right was to take in and raise Juniper as her own, alongside Zoraida.

The Queen knew it would be a risk to introduce Zoraida as her successor so soon after taking her, so she settled for telling the council the same story she told Zoraida and they agreed to keep quiet for the sake of the girl. Sidera knew she couldn’t bear to lose another daughter and vowed to protect Zoraida and Juniper with her life. In an abundance of caution, the girls weren’t allowed to ever leave the castle grounds unless they were with Sidera, herself. Even playing just outside the castle she insisted they be guarded by her own hand-picked guards. The Queen trained both girls rigorously in all subjects, sorcery and otherwise, and watched them, Zoraida especially, excel. Now, she just needed to find a way to end this war before she loses anyone else that she loves.

Approximately 14 years later, Zoraida and Juniper are now 20 and 18, respectively. Much to Sidera’s dismay, The Witching War still remains after what is now 67 years since it all began. Soon she will be announcing her daughter, Zoraida, as her successor to the people. She hopes it’s been long enough since her kidnapping for her not to be recognized, somehow. It isn’t likely since she hadn’t been seen by many outside of her coven and was only a child at the time. Nevertheless, she knew this day would come eventually, and it’s coming fast. One thing’s for sure, Sidera refuses to pass this war on to her beloved daughter like her father did to her and she’s going to end it one way or another.

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