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Paint the Sky with Stars

By Rebecca24601a All Rights Reserved ©


Chapter 1

My dear Methuselah,

As I sit in the capitol city of Adaizre, it occurred to me recently that you have heard many stories about me and my adventures. These stories feature many of my old friends, they tell of our deeds of daring victory, of our incomparable courage and of our victory over the darkness that existed in the old days. Many of these stories, I am afraid to tell you, are often exaggerated in detail. They often depict me as some sort of hero, as someone to be worshipped and while I am very flattered at the compliment, many of these stories are not true. Every tale does indeed deserve some embellishment, but I would like to clear the slate and tell you the true story of what happened to me, my friends and what happened in Jupiter years and years before you were born. I am going to write to you about the chosen one, the one who saved Jupiter. I will also be telling you of what happened in the great victory over Meridoc the Evil. My tale begins long before even I was born and has been told to me by Radigan and Uriah, two of the oldest living people in Jupiter to date. Long ago, before this city was even a whisper there once lay a great and shining kingdom in the east called Elbategrof. Elbategrof was ruled by a group of very wise and very gifted council who called themselves The Striking Stars. In this great council were 10 outstanding representations of all the races that lived in Jupiter. One, the mighty dwarf -king, Kieran. His kin, the dwarves, lived in the mines underneath the great mountainous region known as Du Wendariez. The dwarves had lived in the mines for a very long time; they were a proud race filled with many gifted warriors. They also were a very loud race which was well-known to all who lived in Jupiter. Two, was the giant leader who was named Cyprian. Cyprian and his giant-folk lived in the caves of Du Wendariez, they had an alliance with the dwarves, the dwarves assisted the giants in the weapon supply and in return, the giants protected the dwarves from any resistance that approached the mountains. Three, the ogre-chieftess Giorsala who lived in the peaks of the mountains of Du Wendariez. She along with Kieran and Cyprian had ruled the ginormous mountains of Du Wendariez with peace, justice and prosperity for many long years. Four was the King of the mermish folk who lived in the southern clear waters of Naebira, who was named Joaquin who ruled over the waters with superb ease. He and his kin watched over the sailors and seamen who used Naebira as a way of living and kept away anything that threatened the vibrant city which lay in the mouth of Naebira’s bay. Five was the mayor of the fairies, his name was Leland and he ruled from the fairy city of Calimag. Calimag was located in the rolling hills and valleys that came from Du Wendariez, the city had always prospered in a state of peace, they hosted a score of artists, musicians, sculptors, carpenters and folk of every trade, it also prospered as a trade city in the heart of Jupiter, it was because of Calimag that Jupiter prospered so proficiently, for the dwarves often sent Calimag its mining finds, and the giants sent Calimag their weapons of choice to be sold at Calimag’s vast marketplace. It was here that the fairy folk lived in harmony with other creatures, Calimag was safe, and nothing ever violent sprang here. It was a place where nothing unexpected ever happened, a place where the people lived in a simple equal peace. Six and Seven of the council were representatives of the witches and wizards of Jupiter. One was the chosen wizard leader, Alastor and his apprentice Meridoc. Alastor wore the crown of Anion, a truly magical object created by the wizards and the magic-folk that gave insight and supreme power to the wearer. Being magical folk, Alastor and Meridoc were gifted in magic, and this magic was green in appearance and was known as Rael. Rael was a type of magic that existed in not only witches and wizards, but also in the fairies, and some merfolk. Eight was the king of the humans named Tobias; the humans had lived in a glorious kingdom called Trinidad. He, with great nobility and humble respect, had led a great cooperation with the other folk in Jupiter for many years. His kingdom existed in the middle of Jupiter, where the humans helped as much as they could to Jupiter’s growing success. At the edge of the council at nine and ten, were the most revered eleven King and Queen. The elves, usually quite mysterious, had finally let their existence be with others. They were led by their fearless king, Zebulon and his honored queen, Radigan. The elves were rumored to be the first folk of Jupiter’s existence, and had existed ever since. The elves were exceptional makers of fine weaponry and lived in their vast, seldom unseen kingdom called Maridoae. Maridoae lay in the west of Jupiter; it was hidden and concealed by a huge great oak tree. It was here that the elves had stored an ancient magic, a magic they claimed once fell from the stars, and they vowed that they only use this magic in a state of emergency. Everyone in the council was aware of the magic, but never had they needed it, for most of the council was gifted in Rael. With Zebulon and Radigan rounding out the council, and with their gifts, they themselves could see glimmers of the future which was why they were insistent upon not using the magic of the stars. No one in the council minded, the magic of the stars was not needed. For many years, the council ruled with peace and prosperity, however over the years, there was one among them who grew jealous of his counterpart’s powers. Meridoc had been an apprentice when the council was first formed, but now was considered part of it; however, he was not as gifted as the others as his magic was mediocre at best. He especially coveted of his mentor’s gifts, he wished the crown would choose him to be its next wearer, but no such occurrence happened as of yet. Alastor was aware of Meridoc’s jealousy and insisted that although Meridoc was not gifted in magic that he had other gifts to offer the council but Meridoc was not listening to him anymore, for once the seed of jealousy is planted into the soul of a being, there is no turning back. He left the council saying that there was more to his life than what he was doing and he left Jupiter on a boat. The council was convinced that he would not be seen again, however this was untrue. Queen Radigan was the only one of the council who insisted that someone go after him, pointing to Jupiter’s Golden Book that it had foretold that one of the council would leave but return more powerful than all of them combined. Alastor was concerned about the prophecy but also cited that Meridoc had a family that Meridoc was loyal to Jupiter and that Meridoc would never betray them. I am sorry to inform that Alastor was wrong about his young apprentice. I suppose in a way, it wasn’t Meridoc’s fault. I am sure that sometimes, even you feel the same way he did, he wanted to prove himself to the council, and he wanted to fit in. This is a feeling that everyone feels at one point or another. Meridoc was caught in a storm and shipwrecked on a desolate island. He was aware that it was bleak, foreboding, a sense of evilness crept on this island, however he was curious, what was on this island that made it seem so awful? He wanted to survive, in order to survive; he had to go further into the island which was a sort of jungle. No animals lived on this island, he had nothing to eat. For days, he had nothing. He thought perhaps he had made a mistake in coming out of Jupiter and that is when he heard it, a voice... it was calling him. It was saying his name and the voice came from within the heart of the jungle. It was here that he discovered a strange sort of shadowy magic, which was called Mortevite. Unlike Rael, it was manipulative and used it’s possessors as parasites; it had a mind of its own. He then was possessed with the magic of this strange Mortevite and began to seek power over all of Jupiter, and wanted to rule over it with supreme power. He became solely focused on defeating his counterparts, so much so that he was determined to prove that he was more gifted than them. He now wanted control over all of Jupiter and for everyone in Jupiter to feel the wrath of his new-found power. He kept this magic a secret while he learned to control and use it properly. When he did master this magic, he returned to Jupiter. He appeared to the council, however he was not used to Mortevite, he was quickly captured by Radigan. Alastor stripped him of his titles, and banned him the prison of Jupiter, called Raewan. Alastor was devastated by how Meridoc had betrayed them all, he led a hand to Meridoc’s wife and to Meridoc’s young daughter. But, afraid of her father’s return, his child ran off from Alastor. Meridoc was banished from Jupiter because of his actions, but that was not the right thing to do. Now Meridoc wanted revenge, he had been mocked and embarrassed by his banishment, and he was determined to make the Council aware that he was more powerful than them. While in his prison cell, he kept pushing himself to master his strange new magic. When he had the strength, he broke out of Raewan, a fete never again accomplished, and returned to Jupiter in anger. He vowed to take down the Council which had tossed him out, he also vowed to take the crown of Anion, and make himself king. Oh, Methuselah, this is what the idea of power does, it makes a person crazy, as you most likely know, it is impossible to rule over all of Jupiter due to its size. It is also impossible because one person, one type of person would never be able to find approval from all the beasts and creatures that lived within Jupiter’s range. Radigan was worried about Meridoc’s return and she gathered members of the council in secret, and proposed the idea of using the magic of the stars against Meridoc. When Radigan asked the gifted to find where Meridoc was, they, including herself could only see shadows. Zebulon then said quietly that it was possible that Meridoc had found the power of Mortevite, an ancient old-wives rumor that the elves had fashioned in fairy tales, but had always believed the existence of. With his new power, Meridoc could transport to wherever he chose and he chose to strike the mountains of Du Wendariez first. Using his new found power, he brought his magic to the mines. Kieran and his kin immediately came up with a counter-attack; however, no dwarf was a match for the newly powerful Meridoc with his new-found skill. He then destroyed the caves which held the ogres, in his power-hungry strike, he killed Cyprian and Giorsala and gave their respective kin a chance to either join him or die. Imagine seeing your family at stake and you might have a glimpse of what many ogres and giants faced back then, since none wanted to see their families killed many of the giants and ogres joined him to save the lives of those they loved. We cannot blame them for this Methuselah; people do crazy things for those they love. Kieran and his kin attempted to help their friends, but they were too late. The giants, ogres, and dwarves who were not recruited by Meridoc were forced to leave Du Wendariez. Kieran and the others who had followed the dwarves went into another mountainous region which was not as plentiful or as vast as Du Wendariez but it would be safe. Kieran named this place Varliez and then quite reluctantly resigned from the Council saying that if he didn’t, Meridoc would come after his kingdom next, so he promised his loyalty to Radigan and to the side of those who were good and then he left. Meridoc meanwhile introduced his new magic his power to those he had recruited and they too became infected with the power that is Mortevite. The council was unaware of this for it was mourning the loss of 3 of its members. Leland, on behalf of his kin, voiced his concern for Calimag. Being little folk, Calimag had never had an army, he was fearful of Meridoc’s growing power and pulled himself out of the council before anyone could convince him otherwise. Alastor had himself a new apprentice now, and his apprentice was alarmed to see the Council falling apart so rapidly. Fear does that, it cripples things that were once whole. Now all that remained were Radigan, Zebulon, the human king Tobias, Alastor and his apprentice Uriah, and Joaquin. Alastor remained adamant in his efforts to rid Jupiter of Meridoc, but Meridoc was growing stronger in his power-hungry raid and like an epidemic, the power of mortevite was spreading. Meridoc had conquered the mountain and now he laid his eyes on Naebira. He struck Naebira in a surprise attack much like he had with Du Wendariez but Joaquin and his fighters proved their skill and their resilience when they defeated Meridoc back. Naebira remained unclaimed from the clutches of Meridoc but Joaquin too pulled out of the Council, he would no longer risk the lives of his fighters against someone they could not defeat more than once. Though the loss of Naebira was a bit of a sting, Meridoc was not very concerned with his defeat. After the merpeople disappeared underneath the surface, he easily conquered over Elbategrof and Trinidad which lay near the waters, without the mermen guarded their cities, the people and creatures that lived there were left virtually defenseless against Meridoc. With almost full control, he created a new kingdom for himself which he named Raurzeurek. Meridoc now took this opportunity to face off with Alastor, in a battle you now know as Mourir’s Day. Alastor was a man with many gifts and with the power of the crown of Anion, but this time, Meridoc had the upper hand, this time there was no way Alastor, as gifted as he was, could defeat Meridoc. Alastor was old, and in the end, Meridoc not only killed him, he also killed Zebulon who had come to the aide of his old friend. The human king was also killed leaving in the council only Radigan and Alastor’s apprentice, Uriah. Radigan fled to her kingdom of Maridoae before Meridoc could find her, but he didn’t think it mattered. He placed the crown of Anion on his head and declared himself king. But as soon as the crown of Anion touched his head, it lost its silvery glow and shut down, refusing to give its gifts to Meridoc. The crown of Anion is a very peculiar object Methuselah, no one really knows when it was created and what for, but it seemed to have a mind of its own. It only gives its insight and its power to who it deemed worthy. It only glows its magnificent silvery blue color when placed on the head of one the crown chose or one who had the right mind to rule over Jupiter and Meridoc was neither of these. Meridoc had been a respectable wizard, no one in Jupiter could figure out why he turned so suddenly. Weeks after he went on his burning the cities spree, his wife was discovered dead. Meridoc began to build a fortress of sorts and he called it the School of Progress. Every child of every kind and every race were forced to go into the School of Progress when they turned 11. If they weren’t gifted in magic, like so many of the humans, they were trained to be soldiers, warriors, marketers, traders, sailors and other such jobs that were needed to keep Jupiter afloat. If they were gifted in Rael however, they were taken deep into the old remains of Trinidad of the School of Progress and were never seen or heard from again. Those times were very hard Methuselah; so many innocent children were taken away from their parents at such a very young age. Many of them knew they were being lead to their death; many of their parents would end up killed as well, for Meridoc was certain that if anyone would lead a resistance, it would come from a person gifted in Rael. He didn’t want anyone to stop him, he didn’t want an opposition. He thought his plan was brilliant, and it was but there was one tiny little flaw. He had destroyed the council, true, but there were still members who lived. Radigan organized secret meetings with Joaquin, Kieran and Leland. Together, they along with Uriah agreed that the only way to defeat Meridoc and give all their people a chance of survival was to use the magic of the stars against Meridoc. The question was how? Radigan and Joaquin both agreed that they were too old for them to receive the magic of the stars, and Leland thought he was too little to handle. Uriah finally suggested they form a being that would be part of them all. When the rest of the council heard this suggestion, they were confused. Uriah explained himself as best as he could. “We use our magic and combine it with the power of the stars, it will be like the Golden Book has said, it predicts a chosen one born of the stars, and how else would this chosen one exist if not created by magic?” “It is incredibly risky” Radigan mused and then she asked “And who would even care for the child? The Golden Book clearly states that the chosen one would be born of a human maiden, none of us here are human” Radigan pointed out. This proved to be the one thing that held them back until one of Tobias’ descendants; a young maiden by the name of Eloise came into Maridoae. She heard of their plan and she volunteered herself to be the one to have the child. “But how?” Uriah pondered. Radigan looked at Joaquin and said “The only way would be to use our magic and the magic of the stars to form a child within her womb…. Just like the Golden Book states” she said. Though none of them were sure or certain of what would happen, they all agreed to at least try. So using their gifts, a child was formed. This child would be part elf, part dwarf, part mermish, part human and part wizard or witch. The child was destined to be born on the winter’s solstice and once formed, Kieran also gifted the child the ability to hear and sense things. It nearly took all of their combined energy to form such a child. Meridoc felt a shift but when he went to investigate, he found nothing. Eloise returned to where the humans had gathered and was forbidden to speak of what had happened but noticed one day that her stomach did indeed grow with child. Knowing what the rest of the villagers would think, Eloise made her way to the forests of Jupiter, knowing that in those woods she would be safe. No one would notice her pregnancy there. Meanwhile, Meridoc returned to his kingdom and had his human slaves brought to him for his pleasure. He also demanded the presence of his daughter Elspeth, but his most trusted guard, a man named Juliard informed Meridoc that his daughter could not be found. Meridoc quickly forgot about her when his human lovers were brought to him. His daughter was now on the run, she had resisted the power of Mortevite in order to protect her young son. No one knew that she had this child; she had kept him a secret but knew she could no longer protect him. She only was running because the man who had been the result of her son was a warrior of Raiya, the place where wizards and witches lived and her young son had just started showing signs of Rael. Knowing that if her father discovered her son that he would be killed, she ran to the river Zae which flowed from the waters of Naebira. Floating her son in a basket made of the twigs of a nearby Finn tree; she directed the basket towards Maridoae and prayed that her son would find safe haven in the kingdom of the elves. The child’s basket however never reached Maridoae, it instead was pulled from Zae by a warrior who took the child to the nearest village which just so happened to be Calimag. Meridoc read the Golden Book which spoke of a chosen one born of a human maiden and ordered every human maiden to be brought to Raurzeurek for questioning. When Eloise heard word of this, she fled the forests and ran to Maridoae hoping for sanctuary. This was granted to her.When Meridoc was certain that no woman was pregnant, (if they were they were executed) he relaxed and thought he had finally triumphed. It was here in Maridoae that the time came for Eloise to have her child, and just as the Golden Book had predicted, the child was born on the winter’s solstice, and was welcomed by a brilliant sunrise. Eloise, shortly after the child’s birth, died. Before she died however, she and Radigan had named the chosen one, and the rumor flew that indeed the chosen one had been born. You may be wondering Methuselah where I come in. I was raised far away from Maridoae, far away from the chosen one and far away (or so it seemed) from the chaos that Meridoc had created, I was raised in the rolling hills and valleys of Calimag. As you know, I am not fairy in any way, but since I was brought there, I was often enlisted by several older fairies that needed a young lad to help them. The wonders of Calimag are something I hope you get to see my dearest Methuselah. Such food, such art, such dancing! A world where somehow, the magic of Rael thrived and prospered, where the rule of Meridoc was something I heard in fairytales and legends. It is here that my story begins in that charming village of Calimag and it starts when I was a much younger lad than you are yourself. It was the summer I turned 9 when I met the acquaintance of a brilliant young wizard which began an unusual friendship that has lasted for nearly all my life. Every year in Calimag, summer would be greeted by a grand festival, the Festival of Bradae. Fairies, unicorns, centaurs, fauns, creatures and other beasts of every kind would gather in Calimag to start off the summer with trades, markets, feasts, dancing and fireworks of such brilliance that I dare not even think I will see such brilliance ever again. It was in this particular year I turned nine, at the Festival of Bradae for the first time in a very long time that it was rumored a wizard from Raiya would be joining the rest of us in celebration. There I was, I can see myself now, how young and naïve I was a human who lived peacefully in Calimag but secretly dreamed of adventure. I also was a bit afraid that year, for I knew that soon, like so many before me, a soldier would come into Calimag and take me away to the School of Progress, the friends I had back then and I decided that perhaps we would be the ones to make it and live. My dear friends were a troublesome sort who lived with me in the orphanage and that year, we had all been enlisted to help a fairy of some sort to prepare for the Festival of Bradae. Lysander, our group leader was assigned to the friar fairy Delvino, Geyorg was assigned to Angelo, the cities magician, Aderes was assigned to a fairy by the name of Fern, Gawen was assigned to a fairy named Waldo and I happened to be assigned to a rather endearing sort of fairy, and on that summer’s day, a day before the festival of Bradae, I was in the marketplace helping to prepare for the festivities…..

“Finnegan!!! Finnegan will you get your head out of the clouds boy? Pay attention! Cottage cheese, I MUST have cottage cheese” squeaked the rather large old fairy who was named Orianna. Finnegan jumped out of his daydream and obeyed. Orianna was an excessively overweight fairy with wild red hair, a toad-like face and a pair of beady brown eyes, one of which had film over it. Her wings could no longer support her weight, so she was forced to be confined to a chair on wheels and had enlisted Finnegan to help her. “I will never understand why that Barty had to drop you off at my feet, I will never forgive him for that, look lively boy we have so much more to do! If only you had wings! Not that I have anything against humans, I like them all right I suppose but NOT when they aren’t paying attention! Are you listening to me Finnegan! Don’t make me hit you boy!” the fairy squeaked indignantly. Finnegan rolled his eyes as she babbled on, he wasn’t very happy about this enlistment to be honest himself but he thought it was wise to not say so out loud. It wasn’t his fault that he was an orphan, and it wasn’t his fault that like Aderes, he was human. So was Lysander, but Lysander was also half fairy so he didn’t have a hard time pleasing those he served. As they made their way around the crowded marketplace, Orianna continued to shout orders at Finnegan and would vocally judge everyone she passed. She was a very proud fairy; she thought that if anyone looked a degree worse than she that he or she was automatically to be shunned. She was quite adamant upon being heard which was quite embarrassing for Finnegan for he had no choice but to follow alongside her as she insulted almost everyone in the marketplace. This continued for some time before someone was heard calling Orianna’s name. Orianna turned towards the caller as did Finnegan and he saw before him a much younger looking fairy woman with kind blue eyes and strangely silver hair. “Sybella? Sybella Browning?” Orianna whispered. The other fairy nodded in glee and for the first time, Finnegan saw a genuine smile form on Orianna’s face. “Bless my heart, I haven’t seen you in years!” exclaimed Orianna, wobbling over to give Sybella a very tight and warm hug. “Yes, it has been a time” Sybella replied rubbing her arms which had been squished by Orianna “My darling I thought you left for good!” “I only moved to Naebira Orianna, it wasn’t going to be permanent but my husband-““Naebira? Is it true that the waters are clearer than the sky? Are there really mermaids there?” interrupted Finnegan at once. This earned him a sharp poke of Orianna’s cane as she said “What have I told you about interrupting your elders boy!” she squealed with anger. “Oh Orianna my dear, please don’t hurt the boy he is only a curious lad after all” Sybella protested as she looked up alarmingly at Finnegan. Fairies are very small folk Methuselah, depending on their breed you can be walking at full height and be accidently stepping on many of them, so please tread carefully. Usually though, most fairies were half of human’s size. “I didn’t know you enlisted help” “I had no choice, Barty insisted that I take him, been a thorn in my side since the day he came to me, can’t wait to get rid of him to be honest, he is more trouble than he is help” Orianna replied giving Finnegan a nasty glare. Then she asked “Sybella why did you leave Naebira I hear it is lovely there” “It was lovely there… I have lost almost everything because of Meridoc’s attacks on the shorelines… my son was taken away to the School of Progress” Sybella said softly. Orianna gasped at this news “Oh Sybella dear, I am so sorry” “I appreciate your condolences, I had nothing to stay in Naebira for, so I am back here, but on the way I had the pleasure of meeting a new acquaintance. I would like the honor to introduce to you both my friend, Uriah” Sybella said gesturing to the man who had been standing behind her the whole time. Finnegan looked in awe as he came forward in a robe of a Christmas tree green. He had bushy black hair which was now combed neatly accompanied by an equally bushy black beard that had just begun to grow. Two eyes peered at the present company, one of them a hazelnut brown, the other a stunning blue. “Glad tidings to all” he said, speaking with his deep and resonate voice. Finnegan had chills just listening to it and Orianna too shivered in his presence as she said out loud “You… you have made friends with a wizard” “Yes, and he has the most exciting news to tell us all if Leland will allow” Sybella brightly said clearly enjoying Orianna’s discomfort. “A real wizard! A REAL wizard!!! I have heard so many stories about wizards!” exclaimed Finnegan excitedly. “And if all goes according to what I have planned, people will hear amazing stories about you Finnegan of Calimag” Uriah rumbled in reply. “You… you know my name? How do you know my name?” whispered Finnegan in shock. “SO many questions boy! Excuse the lad, he is not very bright, he is too young to understand how the world really works and the world will be a happier one for me when I am rid of him but we really must be going, come boy” Orianna said hastily attempting to get away but she was stopped by Uriah “Perhaps I can be of help to you Orianna, you see I have need of Finnegan I will assign you a different human, a girl” he said quite calmly. Before Finnegan could process what Uriah had said, he was watching Orianna disappear back into the crowds with her new helper Razi. Sybella turned to Finnegan after Orianna was out of sight and shook her head sadly “I am so sorry my dear boy, I am afraid that Orianna hasn’t always been the nicest of fairies but at least you are alive” she said gently to him. Then she turned to Uriah “Are you certain that it was wise to leave Razi with Orianna?” “My dear Sybella you doubt me! Of course I am sure… to answer your question of how I know your name Finnegan of Calimag, you will need to remember that there are a great number of things that a wizard knows and if I told you how I know it would ruin the magic. At any rate, you are no longer going to be enlisted to the aide of fairies” Uriah said. “But why not? I have been too much trouble haven’t I?” Finnegan asked worriedly. “No, not at all, do you know why I am here Finnegan?” “Sybella said you have good news” “And indeed I do Finnegan, but I also want to start a rebellion against Meridoc” “Meridoc?” scoffed Finnegan “But he isn’t real, he is only in the story books” “I am afraid that I must insist, Meridoc is VERY real and he poses a threat to everything we hold dear not just to our world but to every world that exists beyond our own! There will come a day when you are taken to the School of Progress, and it is here that you will be trained as a soldier. I want you to promise me that you will give everything you have into becoming a well-trained soldier” Uriah said. “But why?” Finnegan asked. “Meridoc can be defeated with your help… I cannot talk about the details in this place and I promise all will be explained later. I must go to Leland and ask for his permission to speak tonight, Sybella, you are in charge of Finnegan, and Finnegan my lad, be good for Sybella and stay with her” Uriah said rushing off into the crowds. Finnegan eagerly followed Sybella asking her as many questions as he could which Sybella was very happy to answer for him. “It sounds wonderful” Finnegan said dreamily as Sybella finished telling him about Naebira “It was” she admitted. “Was? Is it not like that now?” Finnegan asked. “Well Meridoc… he is a very bad man, with him around nothing is like how it was before” Sybella replied carefully choosing her words. Then she added “Meridoc is feared by almost everyone in the kingdom” “I am not afraid of him” Finnegan said immediately. Sybella looked sadly at him “That is because you haven’t seen what he is capable of and I hope you never will” she said. Finnegan didn’t say anything in return. Meanwhile, Uriah reached the place where Leland ran Calimag and let himself in. Leland was surrounded by the other members of his race and he looked very surprised to see Uriah walking towards him “Well Uriah the Green! I heard you were dead” “I am happy to prove to you that I am obviously very much alive Leland, I wish to ask your permission to speak to your people tonight as you celebrate the Festival of Bradae” “Speak? What about?” Leland asked “I suppose you will grand me permission to speak and find out for yourself” Uriah replied. “You don’t trust me” Leland said, but it wasn’t a question, it was if Leland could tell that Uriah didn’t trust him. “This is not a matter of trust Leland, I don’t have the time to get into it now…. I also want to let you know that I have removed Finnegan from Orianna’s care” “Finnegan? Who is Finnegan?” Leland asked. “You call yourself a mayor and you don’t even know who lives within your kingdom? Finnegan is one the orphans who live here, the one Barty found?” “Ah yes, the child who was discovered in a basket…. I do remember him now… why have you removed him?” “I cannot discuss that matter, I am on direct orders from Radigan herself, it is of the most importance that he remain out of Orianna’s care” Uriah said dismissively “Radigan? She is alive? I didn’t know that” Leland said interested. “Would you speak tonight even if I did not permit you to speak?” he asked turning to Uriah. “I would like to hope that I’d have the courage” Uriah replied meeting Leland’s eyes with a determined glare. “I will give you permission then only because it must be incredibly important for you to have come all this way” “It is indeed very important Leland and I thank you for allowing me to speak…. Also I must ask you where your troops are and why Calimag remains unprotected?” “There is nothing to protect Calimag from” Leland replied chuckling at the sound of the idea. “For someone who witnessed the rise of Meridoc that is an awfully bold statement to make” Uriah replied and seeing the rest of Leland’s council react to this news he chuckled a bit “Ah so you haven’t told anyone?” he asked not sounding surprised. “That was long ago, Meridoc is no longer a threat” Leland said almost growling the words in Uriah’s direction but Uriah looked at him in anger. “Meridoc is stronger than ever before! He has minions with him that go to the thousands! Now I have already recruited Kieran and Joaquin into the rebellion; they have both rallied their forces. Leland, Meridoc took Du Wendariez, he almost took Naebira, and he burned and destroyed both Trinidad and Elbategrof, if he lays eyes on Calimag I need to know if you plan on doing anything about it!” Uriah cried out in desperation. “Kieran and Joaquin are both fools, if Meridoc does indeed come I know that there is no army I can resurrect strong enough to defeat him, he would take the city either way. I do not forget that there are fairy children being killed right now in the School of Progress just for possessing Rael in their bones and in their blood, I will not sacrifice those we have left” Leland said adamantly. “Perhaps you will change your mind tonight, it is my hope that you will” Uriah finally said after a brief pause. When all the people, creatures and beasts were gathered, Leland called for Uriah to take the podium. Nearby, Sybella and Finnegan waited with baited breath to hear what he had come to say. “Fellow citizens of Raiya, for years you have lived here and prospered by the grace of your leader and you all have suffered greatly due to the hand of Meridoc. He has taken many of your children away and it is my sad honor to tell you that if you are gifted in Rael, there is a very strong likelihood that your children will not return. Meridoc is trying to weed out the existence of Rael; he poses a real threat to our world. He has taken Du Wendariez, he has burned Trinidad and Elbategrof to the ground, and he had taken the lives of Alastor, Zebulon, Cyprian, Girosala, and I am certain many others, however I have come to give you all hope. I was sent here from Maridoae. Meridoc will be defeated…. And I have come to tell you all that the chosen one lives. The one who was made to defeat Meridoc, the only one who can restore Jupiter to its former glory is alive at this very moment and lives in the safety of Maridoae’s walls” Several of the gathered crowd gasped and whispered about this news. “With this chosen one alive, Radigan and I have agreed that we can no longer let the children of this world go into the School of Progress with no defense which is why I am proud to tell you about the Halls of Alastrina, it will train children gifted in Rael to disguise their magic and manipulate it into what will look like Mortevite. This will not be an easy task but I firmly believe that our children will be able to do it. This chosen one will be the end of our misery and I ask you and your leader if you will stand with the chosen one when it comes to the battle? Will you stand or will you not?” Uriah asked the crowds. A centaur came forward “Uriah the Green, you may tell this chosen one that she or he have the centaurs full support, we stand!” he cried out which was followed by the fauns and the unicorns and every beast. The crowd silenced as they looked at Leland in anticipation. “I do not want to risk the lives of my-“but Leland was interrupted by Uriah who said “IF you didn’t want the risk then perhaps you should not have helped with her creation” he said. This ignited several shocked whispers and murmurings throughout the crowds. Finnegan could no longer contain himself “YOU helped?!? You helped to create the chosen one and you have been telling everyone here that Meridoc doesn’t exist?” he asked in shock and disbelief. “The chosen one was carried by a human…. I have heard that the human is dead and so I know that the chosen one is probably dead as well” Leland said in his defense. “The human is dead but the chosen one is alive” “Who is caring for the child?” “An old friend of yours, Radigan, Queen of the Elves in Maridoae” Uriah replied smiling victoriously as several whispers broke out amongst the creatures and beasts that had gathered for the Festival of Bradae. “Queen Radigan? She is still alive?” Finnegan asked in shock. “Of course she is alive…. There will be a time when the chosen one is going to face Meridoc, this chosen one, this girl will be in need of backup, what says you Leland? Will you help her or not?” Uriah asked. Leland knew that now he was stuck, he knew that to join Uriah and this chosen one was madness but to not join him would be looked upon as betrayal. “Very well, I will assist this child in what ways I can” Leland said at last. “Finally you’re being sensible again Leland, thank you for your help in this matter, I suggest you all go back to enjoying your festival, thank you all for your patience and your time” Uriah said and then he came towards Sybella and Finnegan smiling merrily. “Sybella my dear it has been my delightful pleasure to accompany you here to Calimag, you’re quite right, it is positively charming. And now young Finnegan, do you remember what I have told you about excelling in the school of progress?” he asked the child. Finnegan nodded his head up at the wizard. Uriah knelt before him and looked at him “Would you like to know why I have asked this?” “Yes… please” Finnegan said quietly with wide expecting eyes. Uriah smiled kindly at him “It would seem to be a very good thing for you to do so, for one school day while you are at the School of Progress that you shall meet the chosen one in a way you will not expect. I need you to swear to me that you will assist and protect her in any way you can” “Me? But… why me?” Finnegan asked in shock. “Finnegan of Calimag you will learn one day to never question a wizard. I am sure Queen Radigan has her reason to select you and if you ever meet her, you can ask her yourself” “Queen Radigan picked me?!? Why would she pick an orphan? My life is worth nothing!” “Finnegan!! Do not ever think that way ever again, of course your life is worth it… no one’s life is worth nothing. You have been chosen to protect and aide the chosen one and you shall … shall you?” Uriah asked his anger fading from his eyes. “Of course I will!” Finnegan immediately said wanting to help more than ever. “Promise me Finnegan” Uriah said seriously his blue and hazelnut brown eyes peering at him. “I promise” “You swear on your life?” Uriah asked knowing that he was asking a great deal of the young lad. Finnegan hesitated here but then nodded at him “I swear on my life” he said quietly. “Finnegan of Calimag, I will not pretend that what you’ve chosen is just an easy task, the road will be filled with danger, heartbreak and loss…you better enjoy Calimag Finnegan, once you leave this place, you won’t come back for a very long time and if and when you do return, you will scarcely recognize it. I also cannot guarantee that you will end your story happily it all depends on her, the chosen one. She is extremely clever and stubborn. You will know once you meet her. She will be told about you in time, but if she gives you a hard time, tell her that I have sent you. I must leave now; I go to Du Wendariez and then back to Queen Radigan. Good luck, Finnegan of Calimag… you will need it” Uriah said and then without another word, he left the company of Sybella and Finnegan. Sybella opened her home to Finnegan and as he lay down that night he realized that he had many questions. Who was this child? What was her name? How old was she now? Why did Queen Radigan pick him of all people to protect her? Why not a warrior? Why not a soldier’s son? Why did Leland lie about his involvement? Why did Leland make it seem like a joke? What would happen to her, this chosen one? What about him? Was he really ready to risk his life for a complete stranger? Did he have what it took to be a protector? Was he ready to die? What if he wasn’t good at being a soldier? What if he was no good at fighting? What if the chosen one didn’t like him? What if she rejected his help? What if …he realized that he wouldn’t sleep with all these questions racing around his head. He had to trust Uriah, the wizard and the Queen of the Elves… they had to know what they were doing right? They had to know so he had to trust them didn’t he? Of course. But poor young Finnegan didn’t get much sleep that night for his questions did not have answers so he spent most of that night awake.

Now you may be wondering what happened to Meridoc’s wife and child, well as we said before his wife was killed but his child, Elspeth, in order to keep her child safe, decided to help Uriah the Green in his building of a new fortress. This new fortress would serve first and foremost as a training ground for children who would learn to disguise their Rael as Mortevite. They would also learn the real history of Jupiter; they would be safe from the School of Progress until the age of 11. Many children would come at the age of 6, in groups and Elspeth offered her assistance. Elspeth kept her son a secret up to this point and intended to keep it that way, and yet part of her kept her eyes out on the children that flocked to this fortress in hopes that she would see her son one day. These halls were named Alastrina in the honor of Alastor who once lost his life trying to protect the people from Meridoc’s evilness. Elspeth and Uriah ran these halls helping to start rebellion against Meridoc’s, and Elspeth waited for her son, she knew that even that she hadn’t seen him in years that she would recognize him at a glance. She was excited to see him again so she waited and helped the children for many years, waiting patiently for when her son would arrive.

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