The sun basked against the girls’ face as she awoke from her slumber. Her pale fur rustled as a gentle breeze wafted over her carrying the scent of dead leaves, crisp and cold. The earthy smells uplifting her mood immediately. With a stretch and a yawn, Baelen’s paws sank into the soft dirt beneath her, though she couldn’t deny that the moist earth felt nice against her aching limbs as she trotted about the forest.
With ears pricked to the sound of the bird’s chirping and the delicate whisper of the other fairies around her, Baelen did her usual route of ensuring that everything was as it should be. Spotting her dear friend, Kaia, Baelen bounded towards her, Kaia’s green eyes widened with shock before she shot her friend a slight grimace.
“Baelen! What are you doing like that?” Kaia stared at Baelen curiously as the fellow fairy seemed to let out a few light wheezes that could only be taken as laughter. It wasn’t unlike Baelen to use her glamour to alter her appearance now and then. It was ability all the fairies in her court possessed, though no one enjoyed it quite like she did. Though strangely, Kaia was the only one able to see past her trickery.
With a mental eye roll, Baelen did the tedious task of removing her glamour. The act instantly made her view that much larger as she shrunk to her normal size, her lengthy hair settling at her sides as she shook it with glee. Unlike the other dark-haired fairies, Baelen stood out with her long ashen locks and amber-brown eyes. With a cluck of her tongue, Baelen scrunched her nose and shot Kaia a mischievous look, her voice playful as she spoke.
“You’re no fun, Kaia. You really need to loosen up!” Kaia scoffed at Baelen’s comment. She knew better than anyone that Baelen was on a thin line with the Unseelie court for the many mischievous pranks she’d played at their expense. Though playing tricks on others was not out of the ordinary for our kind, it went without saying that the King was strictly off-limits.
“Isn’t your version of fun what got you a hearing with King Osgar?” At the mention of the damnable Unseelie, Baelen’s pretty face clouded over. Her amber eyes narrowing as she thought of the King of the Unseelie’s. An arrogant little man, King Osgar. Though other fairies adored him, Baelen couldn’t help but get a bitter taste in her mouth whenever his name was brought up. To her, all he’d ever be was a murderer.
It was normal for some culture of the fey to fight to the death for their place as King. Though Baelen couldn’t have been more surprised when her younger brother, Gil stepped forward. He was a charismatic fey with deep brown hair, and eyes green as the meadow. An excellent swordsman, Gil worked hard amongst the fey’s to keep the peace.
So, when Osgar came barreling in with his intention of being King, Gil thought it was his fight to ensure a man like Osgar would never sit on the throne. Baelen had fought against her brother's wishes, she trusted in his swordsmanship but everything about Osgar made Baelen sick to her stomach.
“Baelen. You mustn’t stop me. If death is my fate, then I only wish to die nobly.” But what Osgar did wasn’t noble, and Baelen was sick of bowing down to such a man, thus her little pranks. The sudden sound of Kaia’s lilted laugh broke Baelen from the dark clouds that swarmed over her. The sight of Kaia’s smiling face brought an instant smile to plague her cheeks as Baelen met her incredulous stare.
With a shake of her head, Kaia began naming off all the numerous tricks Baelen had performed in the short amount of time Osgar has been king. Repressing an eye roll, Baelen laughed softly at her friend's scolding tone.
“Oh, hush now. The pranks weren’t even that bad!” Baelen waved a nonchalant hand at her raven-haired friend who scoffed at her remark.
“Baelen, you lined his bed with honey!” With a bark of a laugh, Baelen basked in the memory of that day, a sly grin plastered onto her face.
“Hey, he should have been grateful! That was a lot of honey gone to waste!” Unable to hide the pride she felt, Baelen puffed her chest as she bounded after Kaia, who was busy collecting moss and twigs.
“When is your hearing?” A look of concern washed over Kaia’s face; her eyes filled with worry as she searched her friend’s expression for any hint of fear. But as usual, Baelen revealed none, shrugging her small shoulders as if to brush the ordeal off.
Baelen knew that if Osgar was going to punish her, she would take that punishment with dignity and ensure he knew just how she felt about him. Though Baelen wasn’t a part of the Unseelie, she was a solitary fey. Essentially, she was free to roam where she wished, however, when a crisis occurred, she had to report to the nearest court. Unfortunately for her, that court just so happened to be the most unforgiving.
Known for their strict rules, and obedience. The Unseelie were cruel, direct in their words and actions made them heavily feared amongst the smaller, less wealthy fey’s. Their deep crimson eyes and pitch-black sclera’s judged us with an upturned nose in the air as they pummeled their way over us towards greatness. And OsgarRedglade was the worst of them all.
“Noon. But let’s not talk about that, here, let me help you with that basket.” And just like that, Kaia was silent as they both made busy work of collecting what they needed.
The courtroom was grand and intimidating as Baelen stood before the court members, including King Osgar. Being an Unseelie, the King was graced with dark red crimson hair and the typical Unseelie red eyes that pierced down at her like daggers. As Baelen met his stare boldly, she couldn’t help but smirk at him, the slightest twitch of her mouth bringing a disgusted face to fall upon the mighty King.
Each council member lined alongside the other, all from different regions around world, as they stared down at Baelen with mute expressions. They donned black robes that fell like waves to the floor, each finger decorated with a silver ring of their importance, a piece of dark crystal imbedded each one with its strange magic.
Once each councilman was seated, the room fell into a deafening silence. The loud boom of Elder Aelfric, the fae of their nation, resonated deep within Bealen's chest, her eyes unflinching as she kept her gaze fixated on the King.
“Baelen Shadowhorn. You have been called upon the council under the abuse of your powers and trickery against the King of the Unseelie, Osgar Redglade. Do you deny these accusations?” With a jut of her chin, and eyes still on her target, Baelen spoke clear as a bell, the delicate sound of her voice echoing in the large room.
“No, I do not deny them. I am proud of my actions, and I can promise you, it will not end!” audible gasps could be heard from every nook and cranny of the courtroom as they all stared wide-eyed at Baelen. Some people stared down at her with disgust, while others with a confused expression. These people knew Baelen, knew what she stood for. But when push came to shove, it was only Baelen who stood at the ready to march against their so-called king.
The councilman of our Country rose from his seat, his eyes displaying a sense of pity as his eyes met Baelen's. This man was no stranger to her and her playful ways. He had known her in passing for quite some time and grew quite fond of her brother Gil. A man of honor and wit, Gil was a leader who had worked hard to assist the solitary fey to a better life. But unfortunately, he left our world far too soon at the hands of Osgar.
“Baelen. I understand your pain and anger of your brother’s death,” the mention of Gil brought fresh tears to Baelen’s eyes as she choked them back. Her small hands balled into fists at the sight of Osgar’s vicious smile. Murderer.
“But you know that tricks against the King are strictly prohibited-” Baelen’s shriek interrupted the old man as she shouted her rebellion, her deep brown eyes filled with passion as she struggled against the binds to throw a pointed finger in the King’s direction.
“He is no king of mine! And I shall never bow to him!” In an instant various food and the like were thrown in Baelen’s directions, her proud eyes falling on Kaia’s mute expression. With a shake of her head, Baelen watched as Kaia made her way from the court, her body soon swallowed by the sun’s bright light as she left.
Kaia’s disappointment hit a chord within Baelen’s chest as she returned her gaze to that of the audience that booed and screamed their hatred at her. It wasn’t until the loud clack of the elder’s cane, that peace finally fell over the rambunctious crowd once more.
“BaelenShadowhorn. You understand that a rebellion will not be tolerated. Not today, not ever!” The councilman’s voice boomed, his authoritative tone shaking the ground Baelen stood on. With a shrug, she narrowed her eyes at Osgar, his lips spread into a cruel smile as he watched the events unfold.
“It is clear to me, and the other members of the council, that your rebellious behavior will not be squandered. For this Baelen Shadowhorn, we bestow the punishment fit for a fey of your treason.” As Baelen listened to his words, she felt fear for the first time since she entered this room. A lump in her throat as her heart raced a mile a minute. If it weren’t for these damnable binds that locked away her powers, she’d have disappeared the second she was able.
“Baelen Shadowhorn. You are to be stripped of your powers; your memories of your home, of your loved ones, will be erased. The moment you step beyond this forest, you will be nothing more than a mere human. You will never be one of the fey again.”