Tag Archive: Mag Mell

Nous Sommes Fucked

“Loki,” Heimdall whispered. “What did you say would happen if your brothers caught you so close to Asgard?”

“I didn’t but it wouldn’t be pretty,” Loki replied. He closed his eyes and swallowed heavily before he met the redhead’s gaze and asked, “Why?”

“Because they’re coming… I doubt we can out run them in this grassland,” Heimdall returned.

“Then we’d better out-think them, I don’t want to think of the consequences otherwise,” Loki replied. He closed his eyes again, this time to calm his mind. Panic wouldn’t help and if he didn’t come up with a solution soon, both of them would be in a heap of trouble.


Fractal Edges

Darius read over the book a third time, just to be sure that he understood the directions. More and more often, he was lapsing into visions. This book proclaimed to have ideas on how to slow down their frequency.

The simplest one seemed to be to get someplace safe and secluded and bring one on. It appeared that he would have the visions either way, but – similar to how dogs taught to ‘speak’ were less likely to bark indiscriminately – bringing them on in specific circumstances served to give a measure of control.

As such, he was imagining a triangle with triangles multiplying inside it, becoming smaller and smaller until the whole of the triangle was filled with them. He then repeated the process, and again until his vision grew hazy and then clouded over.

The emperor sat reading a book. He was curled up; his feet tucked into the chair under him. The fire in the hearth had burned low. As Darius watched, he realized that this was the emperor at a much younger age. He was still the prince.

His suspicions were confirmed when an oni peeked into the room and said, “Highness, isn’t it past your bedtime?”

“Yes, Henry,” the young prince said as he set the book aside. As he left the room, the vision faded.

Darius sat up, blinking in shock. It was perhaps the first time he’d had a vision that didn’t involve death. He grinned down at the book in his hand and murmured, “Fractals, hm?”

Heimdall sighed and watched, as he always did, across the rainbow bridge called Bifrost. He was the watchman, solitary and silent. Only when someone approached did he speak and then only to ask their business and send them away or allow their entry. Today had seemed no different, that is until Friga’s messenger had come across the bridge, returning from the human world.

“Good day,” she greeted. “I’m Gna; returning to my mistress, Frigga.”

Heimdall nodded and stepped aside to allow the maiden to pass. “Good day,” he murmured.

Gna turned and smiled, something no one had ever done. “The sun is pleasant and the air is fine today. Perhaps when I’ve finished my duties for my mistress, I’ll join you.” She scampered off, leaving him staring open mouthed behind her.

It was a beginning that would prove to be an ending. A forbidden relationship that could only have one logical conclusion. It was something he almost had no choice but to see to the inevitable end.

Orbsen heaved a sigh as he was disarmed for the third time. He shook out his aching hands and cast a glance behind him. His father was at the window, watching him train. He’d seen the whole embarrassing exchange.

“I’m no good at this,” the young prince protested. “Why must we keep working at it. I have guards and oni all around me on the rare occasions that I leave the palace grounds. Why keep torturing me like this?”

“I’m not torturing you, highness,” Collin said patiently. “You actually lasted longer that time. You’re getting better. Besides, you won’t always have a guard within screaming distance. Ready to go again?”

Orbsen sighed and picked up his sword to get himself ready. The fox-fey was right but Orbsen was sure that his father didn’t see any of the improvement the other warrior did. He saw only the disappointing second son who had become his heir almost by default.

Orbsen straightened his robes and headed into the council chamber. He knew what the meeting was about. He had been married to Diantha for nearly twenty years. Ordinarily, the emperor had many wives, not just one. He’d already had several offers. Each one he had turned down in as polite a manner as he could. He’d even gone so far as to help some make other marriage arrangements.

As he entered the room, the assembled councilors stood. “Hello,” he greeted. “I’m sure you all know why I’ve called you here, since some of you have proposed daughters and nieces as second wives for me.”

“Yet you’ve turned them all down. I assume this is a meeting to explain your actions,” Lord Inari said softly.

“Indeed,” Orbsen said. He took a seat and the other men and women settled into seats of their own. “My reason is very simple: love and loyalty for the wife I have. I see no reason to take a second wife. There are other ways to make alliances besides through marriage.”

“Your father always said that love was a useless sentiment,” his mother said softly.

“Well, we both know I’m nothing like my father, Mother,” Orbsen said wryly. “I’ve loved Diantha for as long as I can remember. I can’t take a wife beside her.” He smiled at the councilors and shrugged. “I hope you don’t think it’s selfish.”

“No, Majesty, not selfish. Your ancestor, King Llyr, also took only one wife,” Lord Aizen said. “So there’s a precedent for it. In fact I think the practice of multiple wives is a more recent addition. That’s something that we can set aside along with your father’s propensity for fighting.”

“Thank you for your understanding,” Orbsen said with a grin.

We Were Holding the Future in Hand

“So this thing can power the whole castle?” Orbsen asked. He held a small crystal in the palm of his hand. The lights in the room danced across its faceted surface as he turned it in his hand to get a better look at it. “Where does it draw its power from?”

“It draws its power from the weave just as we do,” the inventor said. “It’s a renewable resource.”

“Because the weave come from everything alive in the three worlds,” Orbsen surmised. “Before we set these up and start drawing unprecedented amounts of energy from the thing which gives everyone life, let’s make sure that it doesn’t cause any problems.”

“Yes, your majesty,” the inventor said. His voice spoke volumes of what he thought about the whole testing process, but he didn’t protest. Instead he would later grumble how the emperor held the future in his hand and set it aside to remain in the past.

Llyr sighed as he watched Morena rock their son to sleep. If her visions had been at all accurate there was only one choice. Their first-born son would have to be sent away. Not just sent to foster with another family until he’d learned the ways of court, but actually sent away, with a strong likelihood that neither of them would see him again.

The little one that Morena was rocking would be his heir. He already had the mark, faint but obvious, on his brow. This would be the only way to preserve the proper bloodline. Morena set the child in his cradle and stepped lightly to his side.

“Are you sure about this? Is there nothing else we can do?” he asked.

“If we knew when it was going to happen, we could possibly prevent it but I only know that neither of them is our son,” she said. “It’s time,” she added, taking his hand.

They walked together to the older of their children. He was already asleep in his bed. Lord Eros waited for them. He would raise the boy as his own and no one would know any different. Even the courtiers rarely saw the royal children. The story that would be sent out would be taken as fact by all. Only one thing remained.

“Thank you for this,” Llyr said softly. “I am truly sorry that we’re taking advantage of your loss.”

“I understand. He can’t replace my son… but I will raise him as my own,” he said. “He’ll know no different, right?”

“Right,” Llyr said softly. “The spell will steal his memories. He’ll never know his true heritage… nor will any of those who descend from his line.”

“Some day the lines will merge and a True-born Heir will come of it,” Morena said softly. Llyr nodded and peeked into the room for what was probably his last look at his oldest son. The preparations for the spell had been lengthy but now all was ready.

The monarch began the chant and energy swirled around the room. Morena added her part and the energy focused on their son. Lord Aizen completed the spell and silvery threads seemed to flow from the sleeping boy’s forehead. Blue threads swirled from the energy they had called and settled over the child. Then the light faded and the spell was complete.

Llyr bowed and left the room, drawing Morena behind him. Lord Eros stepped up to the sleeping boy and set a hand on his shoulder. Auburn lashes fluttered and golden eyes opened. “Father?” the boy said softly.

“Yes,” he said softly. “I’m here.”

Llyr chuckled as he came around the bushes that hid the path.  His fiancé was hiding in the garden, waiting to be found.  Llyr grinned at the thought of surprising her.  His tutor thought that such things were beneath his station as True-born heir and prince of Mag Mell, however the pair didn’t really pay him any mind.  “Morena,” Llyr called teasingly.  “I’m coming to get you.”

 He heard a feminine giggle but lost track of it before he found the girl he was searching for.

 “Highness,” a weary voice called.  Llyr chuckled and ducked down into a thicket as the voice continued, “Highness, we’ve no time for games.  You have to return to your lessons.”

 The young prince stifled a chuckled as the stuffy tutor passed by his hiding place a few times and finally gave up.  As he was standing hands covered his eyes.

 “Guess who,” a feminine voice chirped.

 “Morena!” Llyr greeted as he whirled to catch her around the waist.  Their lips met in a passionate kiss and he smiled down at her as they stepped back.  “You didn’t let me find you,” he accused.

 “I was bored so I came looking for you,” she said.  “What did Master Helaku want?”

 “Lessons,” Llyr replied dismissively.  “Shall we continue?”

 “Catch me first,” Morena invited as she dashed away into the garden.  Llyr chuckled delightedly and ran to chase her.

Llyr closed his eyes and opened his other senses – both physical and mental.  Immediately everything in the dark cavern became clear.  The sounds seemed louder.  He could hear the occasional drip of water and the scattering of rocks by the shoes of the bandits pursuing him.  The wall beneath his hands seemed rougher somehow.  Every nook and cranny, every sharp edge of the rock stood out in relief.  He could smell both the damp stone around him and the foul stink of the unwashed bodies of his pursuers.  The scents were so strong he could almost taste them.  Behind him the auras of the bandits glowed brightly to his inner sight. 

 They would be upon him soon.  He didn’t know exactly what they wanted but he knew – somehow – where they would be taking him.  All this information, he imprinted on the wall beneath his hands.  He prayed his friends would find it; that they would find him; that he would be rescued.  He stepped back into the arms of the bandit leader.

 The man was shocked but pleased as the deiva prince relaxed into his arms.  “Done running, boy?” he asked.  His grin showed teeth that were black and full of holes.

 “You won’t win,” Llyr murmured.  “I won’t fight you – I can’t – but you won’t win.”

Monica Ferris

an author with many hats

A Land of Curiosity

From the files of Shynian Intelligence

Heather's Fancies

tales from the enchanted gardens and shadow hollow


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