The Fairy Queen
Act I: Red
Chapter 10: The Fairy Queen
The regality attached to the Queen's expression was entirely evident, even from the distance the red-haired fae had put in between for but a few moments. She was demure and otherwise beautiful, if Thaia had been of course utterly ignorant of a fae's nature, especially when royalty was concerned. Avelia stood perfectly still and light on her feet as she held her stance along the cliff, gazing down below as one would in a theater or any other performance. Despite this fanciful stillness, Avelia gave a soft smirk with her pale lips as her head slowly turned, unreasonably startling the watchful fae.
"If you would do me the pleasure of witnessing the exchange below," she said, her voice subtly in tune with the wind whisping through the leaves above. She reached a hand outward in a welcoming pose, giving Thaia the indication she needed to accept the offer and step tentatively next to what she believed would be her future leader.
After giving her polite nod in the queen's direction, which only caused the latter to giggle softly, Thaia squinted her eyes to observe what it was that attracted the queen so. It took a few seconds, but that was enough time for her to discern the scene before her.
"I can see two men…" she started. "At least, one of them is a man. The other is… hooded, am I correct?" The two were only facing each other at the moment, and they were much too far away to hear what they were discussing. Several feet from them, though, Thaia's attention was turned to the black, twisted tree that casted its odd shadow over the graves the two beings situated themselves amongst. A figure had taken its opportunity to flee from the scene in secret, and with the monochrome colors that beset the odd form Thaia immediately knew who it was: the stranger who had questioned her the day before.
"You are indeed," Avelia answered, causing Thaia to snap her attention back. "Although I am much more interested in the obvious male, rather than the limp, cloaked one. Can you tell me why, fae of air?"
Thaia frowned slightly, unnerved that the queen was already aware of her nature. However, after the fact settled in it came to no surprise that someone like her would be known to the native fairies, especially in their own forest.
"I'm not sure. I've never seen him before, and frankly I was unaware that there were many within this strange land," Thaia responded before realizing she could have insulted her, not knowing if the fae held the title of the ruling faction. "Tylarus," she corrected herself.
Avelia raised a brow in amusement.
"I'm surprised you know its name," Avelia stated seriously before falling into a fit of more giggles. "But you needn't toss such meaningless formalities my way. I am not the other two. You may refer to me as Queen Avelia, of the Fae Court. I was made aware of your presence by my attendant. It seems you have already been acquainted with him?"
She quickly thought back on all of those she had met, and seconds later she remembered her run in with the faun.
"You mean, erm…" Thaia started, trying to remember his name. "…Dimitri?"
"Dimitri the faun? Oh. No," Avelia shook her head. "That would be his attendant. My attendant's attendant. Don't worry, it doesn't get any more confusing than that. But we can discuss that later… for now, might I have your name? I was never given it." She then placed a slender finger upon her lips and glanced upward, seemingly trying to recall something. "Or… I might have, but I've forgotten. I've been a bit busy, my apologies."
"No apologies needed, my queen," Thaia quickly responded. "My full name is Apethaia, but a more common version is just Thaia, if you'd like."
"I see, Thaia it is then. How pleasant," Avelia added with absolutely no mirth. "And what might you be looking for, this deep in my forest? A place within the sithen, I assume?"
"It is what I have been searching for after I have come here," Thaia said. "I am skilled in the arcane, and could serve you as a mage, if that pleases you."
A sly smile formed instantly from Avelia's delicate features.
"A mage…" she muttered, mostly to herself, before turning back to the scene below. "Ironic. I've been needing a mage. It would make the proceedings go smoothly, something I really need in these times."
"You missed it, earlier. They are talking now, but…" Avelia began to say, watching as the two figures down below ended their exchange and parted ways. "Before they were in quite a battle against each other. Sorcerors of the dead."
Thaia glanced downward as well.
"They are necromancers?" she asked.
"The one I have pointed out to you earlier is most assuredly a necromancer; a lich, in fact," Avelia stated. Thaia noticed a slight diminishing of the barely visible color present in her cheeks. "His name is Garren, and he has proclaimed himself the supposed 'ruler' of all that you see around you. If you have noticed, Tylarus is quite barren. I have been assured that this is his doing, that those who have gone missing are victims to his sadism."
Thaia frowned slightly.
"I suppose that makes sense; if it is impossible to leave here, then the only way to go missing is to be captured, I would guess…" she responded. After several seconds of silence, Thaia turned to her queen to see if she was forming the correct words to say; however, she saw that Avelia was eyeing her strangely, as if she was concerned.
"Impossible to leave?" she asked. "Where did you get such information?"
"An acquaintance of mine," Thaia said, unsure of what to make of Avelia's surprise at this fact. "Well, we've only met yesterday. She called herself Zhei, and she told me that it was impossible to leave Tylarus. Is this not true?"
"I'm not sure. I've never had the thought cross my mind, really. Nearly five centuries, and I've just been busy, busy, busy. Especially with the tyrant's return," she smiled. "And speaking of being busy, you may have noticed that my fairies have been noticeably absent from the forest. I have been setting up a certain event, one that will ensure the Court's position within these lands against the undying lich."
Thaia nodded enthusiastically. "And how may I be of service?"
"You've mentioned your skills as a mage, yes? As I've mentioned, I will need everything to go smoothly, and having someone versed in magic would be an asset." Avelia then turned to face her, extending her arm to gesture towards the forest. "I have assigned some sentries and other various guards during our preparations, but other than them, our court is rather empty. It would ease me knowing that there is a bit more enforcement in my halls."
Thaia once again bowed her head.
"I would be honored," she replied, causing Avelia to smile once again.
"I am pleased then," she answered. "Tomorrow I would like you to meet me by the water basin to the west of here, north of the valley that separates the two great forests. I will have you meet my attendant, and we shall discuss the Fae Court's future. For now, though, get to know your new home and rest."
Thaia returned the smile.
"May I ask why we meet at the basin?" she asked. Avelia stayed silent for a mere minute before giggling once again.
"You know how kelpies are. They enjoy water," she jested. "Kael is no different."
When she finished speaking, the wind picked up just enough to cause the Fae Queen's form to disperse into an innumerable mass of white particles, gently sprinkling into the air. Thaia kept her gaze where she stood before turning back to the tree below. Oddly enough, the hooded figure had not moved. He was facing towards the river that split at the graveyard; following his gaze, she saw that he was specifically staring at a small hill in the distance.
Glossary - Day 8
- The Stranger / Race: Human / Status: Active
- Sakiya / Race: Human / Status: Dormant
- Thaia / Race: Fae (Sylph) / Status: Active
- Zhei / Race: Unknown / Status: Active
- Akulien / Race: Unknown / Status: Active
- Maelomi / Race: Unknown / Status: Active, Tavern Mistress
- ? / Race: Feline / Status: Active
- Vairnlor / Race: Lich / Status: Active
THE FAE COURT
- Avelia / Race: Fae (Fairy) / Status: Active, Fae Queen
- Kael / Race: Fae (Kelpie) / Status: Active
- Dimitri / Race: Fae (Faun) / Status: Active
- Garren Myzen / Race: Lich / Status: Active, Legion Tyrant
- Tylarus: Name of land.
- The Tavern: Establishment in between the Fae Forest and Rogue Woods, south of the Graveyard.
- The Corrupted Tree: Black, deadened tree located in the Graveyard.
- The Graveyard: Plot of land between two rivers and in the center of the land.
- The Fae Forest: Eastern forests, surface world of the Fae Court.
- The Wastelands: Northern plains, home to the Legion.
- The Raven: ?