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The Age of the Ostani

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Summary

The Ostani people were created on Invaris over one hundred years ago alongside their brethren: the Narzensi. It is not an easy task to help form a new world, and the Royal Ostani family may appear perfect on the outside, but the inside seems to be rotting. Kitanya, the youngest princess of the Ostani Royal Family, is seeking to find her place among her family members, learn her gift, and make the world a safe and good place for her family and the Ostani and Narzensi populations. But she sees the cracks forming in her family...and she feels that she might be the only one capable of mending the brokenness before it goes too far.

Genre:
Fantasy / Drama
Author:
jillhope2
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
46
Rating:
4.8 5 reviews
Age Rating:
16+

Prologue

Kitanya played with the frayed edge of her favorite pink blanket as she looked around her all too familiar room. She had every corner in her room memorized by now, so she turned her aimless gaze to the socks on her feet which had been dyed pink by her oldest sister. She smiled a bit at the memory as she wiggled her feet back and forth, and then she hummed and looked over at the door which had an ornate carving of a willow tree in it.

She sighed. “Father’s not coming, is he?” She whispered as she looked over at the knitted doll that rested against her plush pillow.

She had begged her nursemaid to call her father to tell her a story before bed, because she never got to see him anymore. He was busy doing important things, as her mother often told her, but wasn’t it important to tell her nighttime stories? He always used to.

Then she heard the creak of her door opening, but she had no expectation that it would be anyone other than her nurse coming back with news that her father was too busy. She closed her eyes as she braced herself for the answer to come, steeling her nerves so she would not cry. Her brothers always told her it was silly to cry too much.

“What’s this? The nurse maid tells me that my daughter is still not asleep, and is refusing to sleep until she hears a story from me.”

Her eyes shot open as she turned to look immediately at the owner of that wonderfully familiar voice. She let out a cry of excitement and threw herself off her bed and into the arms of her father. His coat smelled dusty, which was because he was spending so much time in the library these days. Kitanya wasn’t sure what he did in the library all day, but she knew it was important.

“Father! You finally came to see me!” She giggled as she was lifted into his arms.

“Dear one, I’m sorry you’ve felt so neglected,” he said with a jovial chuckle. He leaned in to kiss her cheek, and his fuzzy, golden beard around his chin tickled her skin.

“It’s okay! You’re going to tell me a story now, right?” She asked. All of her sadness washed away immediately as her father tucked her back into bed and sat down next to her. It might be a long time before he could tell her stories again, so she was just going to hold onto this moment for as long as she could.

“Hmm, it seems I am,” Her father said with a serious nod. “But, pray tell, what does my daughter want to hear? What story shall I tell? A scary story of the Fell Beasts of the Mountains and the great Hero Jikzan? Or…perhaps the story of how the King and Queen of the Ostani created a beautiful kingdom?”

She giggled. “No, tell me a story before that!”

He blinked in surprise, and then smiled. “You want a story of the Beginning, Princess Kitanya?” He asked.

She nodded as she pulled her quilt up to her chin. “Yes! You were there at the Beginning, weren’t you, father?” She asked. “You met the Protector and the Guardian!”

Her father looked wistful in that moment as he lifted his gaze to stare out the closest window. The sky was dark outside, but it was also scattered with the most glorious stars. Kitanya wondered why telling this story made her father much more quiet than usual, but she always liked to hear it. She wished she could have met the Protector and Guardian before they returned to the Realm Above the Stars.

“Once upon a time,” her father began as he turned his gaze away from the stars. “This world, Invaris, was nothing at all.”

Kitanya nodded. “No one lived here,” she whispered.

“That’s right,” her father agreed. “Adamus, the one we know as the Protector, and Oberen, the one we know as the Guardian, worked hard to make this beautiful world. But this world was not only beautiful, it was created with a purpose. They wanted to create life, but before they could do that they needed to make a world that was fit for life.”

“And the Guardian filled the rivers with light matter, and the Protector filled the mountains with dark matter!” Kitanya said excitedly.

Her father smiled. “That’s right,” he said. “The Protector made the night and the moon, and the Guardian made the day and the sun. They knew they needed their people to keep the balance of light and dark, so the Twin Gods decided each would make their own people in order to do this great thing.”

Kitanya sat upright, gripping her quilt tightly as her heart leapt with excitement. “And that’s when the Guardian created you and mother and our friends!” She exclaimed.

Her father laughed lightly and then tilted his head as he looked at his daughter with fondness. “And the Protector created First Leader Jikzan and First Lady Morza, and all of our Narzensi friends,” he added with a nod. “The Guardian made the Ostani and gave us the duty of protecting the balance of Light and control over light matter, and the Protector created the Narzensi and gave them the duty of protecting the balance of Darkness, and control over dark matter. We are opposites, and yet so important to each other. We are family, even as we rule separate regions of this world.”

Kitanya nodded as she watched her father eagerly. “And then the Protector and Guardian left…”

Her father became more solemn in that moment, but he nodded his head once. “They returned to their Realm, to watch us and answer our prayers from afar,” he said softly. “Which left the Narzensi and Ostani people to begin our quest to create life in this barren world.”

“Wait! You forgot the part about you and mother!” Kitanya objected as she sat up. “Tell me that part!”

Her father chuckled. “Quite right, daughter,” he agreed. “The Guardian instructed your mother and I to do one thing; we must remain loyal to each other until the end of our lives. The Guardian said, ‘You are bonded to Lyna, and if you break that bond then a curse will come.’ But of course I was more than grateful to be bonded to a woman as wonderful as your mother.”

Kitanya laid back down against her pillows and sighed happily. “And the Protector said the same thing to Leader Jikzan, right?” She asked.

“Mhm,” He hummed. “Lady Morza and Leader Jikzan are bonded just like your mother and I are. We were set in place to lead our people, to help our population flourish, and to create a world that is safe for us. It is a heavy duty, but we do it with honor and humility.”

Kitanya nodded. She had heard this story, or some variation of it, almost everyday since she was old enough to remember. She heard it from her older siblings, heard it from the instructors, even heard it from her nursemaid. The Ostani Royalty had to serve their people, and make the world good for them.

“One day you will lead our people, Kitanya. Perhaps not from the throne, but you have a strong energy inside of you. I have no doubt once your powers come to fruition that you will be an unstoppable force of good,” Her father said gently. “Now, have I finished the story? Ah, not quite. Your mother and I found our way down into the warm, Southern regions of the world where the light matter was strongest, while the Narzensi moved North where the dark matter grew deepest. Then we began building our beautiful empire, and your mother gave me many beautiful heirs. You, my dear, are the final gem in our crowns.”

Kitanya giggled and pulled the quilt over her head shyly. “Am I the prettiest gem?” She asked.

Her father tugged the quilt off of her head and then tucked her in gently. “You shine the brightest,” he assured her as he leaned down to kiss her forehead.

Kitanya giggled and looked at her father as he rose to his feet again. A sadness wormed its way into her heart as she knew he would be going back to his work. He was always working, but she didn’t really understand what he was doing. She just knew she missed him.

“Is it hard to make the world safe for our people, father?” Kitanya asked.

Her father looked back at her and she could see the weariness in his eyes now. “It is,” he said. “The world might have been created with us in mind, but it still isn’t safe. Wild animals roam the plains, monsters live in the mountains, and the weather often threatens to take away our crops and homes. But as long as we remain devout to the Twin Gods, then all will be well. Remember that, Kitanya.”

“Why did the Twin Gods make it this way?” Kitanya asked as she twisted a piece of her curly hair around her tiny fingers.

Her father stood in the doorway now, blocking out most of the light from the hallway with his formidable stature. “We must endure suffering so that we can learn. The Guardian made us to be a resilient people, and if we had no challenges to face then we would become lazy and have no need to trust in our Guardian,” he explained.

Kitanya didn’t really understand all of what he said, but she just nodded her head as she laid down on her side and watched her father as he blew out of the lantern and then walked out of the room, closing the door behind him.

Kitanya noticed her room was still so bright from the full moon outside. She watched the moon beam that lit a spot on her floor and then hummed softly. The Protector had created the moon for the Narzensi people to be able to see the glowing dark matter at night, because it was impossible to harvest it any other way.

“The Twin Gods care about us…” Kitanya mumbled as she stared at the moonbeam. “So, Guardian, can you make my father feel better? He seems so tired and sad! I don’t know how to fix it. Maybe mother does…”

She sighed and then hugged her quilt closer around herself and shut her eyes. She hated being the youngest sometimes because there was so much she didn’t understand yet, but she wanted to be helpful like her older siblings.

Maybe she would talk to her brothers and sister tomorrow. She wanted to be a good princess! And that meant she had to be able to help other people, even if she was small right now.

Surely she could find something to do to make things easier on her family.

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