Good One Priess, put your collumn in the wrong place! What a clever thing to do!
So, Yet again, it would seem that my Muse has deserted me. That means of course, that there is no new Chapter of the Wayfairer. Sorry. What I do have, by way of a peace offering, is a little piece about Evelyn. Evelyn is my great heroine, and is generally reserved only for those reading the drafts of my novel.
For those like NOTINTHEFACE, who are likely to ask, this one has no relation to the world of The Wayfairer, but is, as you will guess by the title, related to Birth of a Dragoness – Lila, which I posted for Valentines day.
Dark clouds gathered over the Kardian ceremonial circle. Two hopeful cadets eyed each other warily, as they circled around the edge of the stone circle, intricately carved with ancient words of warding.
Ndjaria Courloun fingered her weapon thoughtfully, as she watched Evelyn, whose sword remained sheathed. Evelyn only looked inward, breathing deeply and trying to centre herself, to separate herself from her nerves.
It seemed that the entire population of the town, which surrounded the castle, lined the ceremonial circle to watch the initiation. At the end of the fight one contender would be a Queen’s Guard, and the other, shamed.
Within the carved granite circle the two young women circled. Ndjaria fought with a Veheria, a long staff, with polished iron blades at each end, the weapon favoured by all the warriors of her family. She sneered at Evelyn across the circle and taunted her loudly.
“You are not a warrior,” She lunged toward Evelyn, but was blocked in what seemed a flash of wood and shining steel. Evelyn did not respond to the taunts, she felt almost like she was apart from her body, watching the initiation as the town folk were.
“You are an orphan, a waste of space,” With a roar Evelyn leapt forward and startled, Ndjaria was knocked from her feet. This was recognised to be the end of the competition, although they were not usually so easily won. It was now Ndjaria’s duty to step aside, and allow Evelyn safe passage from the circle to the Queen’s throne, where she would be initiated into the Guards. Ndjaria’s family cried out as the heralds stood to announce the end of the fight, making them pause.
Evelyn watched the enraged family with concern, she fervently hoped that they weren’t going to cause trouble. Ndjaria rolled to her feet, and with a sneer flicked a handful of the dark dust on the granite stage into Evelyn’s eyes. The townspeople looked on in horror as Evelyn reeled backwards, trying to shake the stinging sand from her eyes. Ndjaria took the opportunity to pounce, and threw Evelyn to the ground, and held her there, the razor-like blade at her throat.
“You will step aside,” Ndjaria’s mother stepped toward the throne where Queen Iecla watched the initiation, a long, gleaming blade at Illia’s throat, “I am now the Queen of Kardia,” The entire gathering could see Iecla was torn, she was a warrior, and would have wanted with all her heart to fight for her crown, but Illia was her child and her heir. She could do nothing but step away from the lavishly decorated throne, and surrender it to the usurper.
Thunder cracked in the skies, and before she could even comprehend what was happening Illia was thrown into Iecla’s arms. The Courloun Matriarch howled, doubling over in pain, although Iecla could not understand why. She hurried to the ceremonial circle, Illia wrapped tightly in her arms. Ndjaria’s sister Marile caught Iecla by the leg and sent her crashing to the ground. Iecla looked up at the advancing woman who held her Veheria poised to strike.
“Don’t worry,” Illia wriggled out of her grip, “We’re safe,” She smiled reassuringly. Iecla watched as Marile was thrown back as she attacked by a wall of blue light that surrounded both Illia and Iecla.
“Evelyn,” Iecla breathed, and turned her gaze to the centre of the circle. Evelyn lay on her back, still held down by Ndjaria, but in a low deep voice, a voice that did not belong to Evelyn, she chanted. Iecla could not make out the words that she spoke, or what they meant but she knew that Evelyn was the source of the wall.
“Illia?” Iecla turned to her daughter, “How did you know?”
“Evelyn always saves me,” The words seemed to echo in the shield, Illia’s faith in her guardian was unswerving
Ndjaria turned to see why her family shouted, her attention leaving Evelyn for a split second. Evelyn kicked Ndjaria’s shin, sending her off-balance, and rolled to her feet.
“Leave now,” Her voice echoed in the plain, to Evelyn it seemed a voice foreign to her, like someone else was speaking through her. Ndjaria snarled.
“What are you going to do?” She motioned to Evelyn’s sword, which had been knocked from her fingers and now lay on the opposite side of the circle.
Thunder crackled in the sky. Evelyn began to chant again, she did not understand the words she spoke, she only knew the desperation she felt, she had to protect Illia. Ndjaria shrunk from her as her eyes flashed deep green. The sky seemed to follow suit flashing green and then so bright it was almost blinding. Forks of white lightning broke from the clouds and struck at the feet of all the members of the Courloun family.
“The punishment for treason is Exile,” The strange voice echoed, seemingly through the heavens themselves, and Kailia, the leader of the Royal Guards, although visibly shaken by the display, sent out her warriors to capture the Ndjaria and Marile. She herself held her shining axe to the throat of the Matriarch but it was only a gesture, as she was doubled over, in great pain.
Ndjaria advanced on Evelyn. Evelyn though did not notice, her back was turned, and her head was turned up to the dark sky. Illia jumped up, throwing herself at the shield that still surrounded them.
“Evelyn!” She shouted, but her voice could barely be heard above the deafening claps of thunder. Both Queen and Princess looked on, terrified, as Ndjaria slashed at the back of their protector. As Evelyn fell, they fell also, unable to take their eyes from her.
The blue shield flickered, then disappeared. With a cry Illia ran to Evelyn’s side, begging in her sweet child-like voice for Evelyn to “stay alive,”
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