Tag Archive: Seranil


Epilogue

There’s No Rush for the Year to Pass

Seranil smiled as he watched his daughter and mate at the hatching. Braitha was at least as excited as Kina was. The pair giggled together like sisters at the thought of helping to raise the new little ones. The both squealed with joy as the first egg tore down one side and a squalling baby tumbled out into the soft nest.

“Hello, little brother,” Braitha said. She flapped her ear wings at the hatchling and giggled when its ear wings flapped back at her. “Papa, do you think he knows me?” she asked.

“Of course,” Seranil said as he settled on the edge of the nest. “You’ve visited them every day for the past month and chattered at them incessantly. How could they not recognize that voice?”

She giggled and clapped her hands as a second hatchling broke free of its egg. The little chick squalled and fisted her hands in the soft nesting material. Kina chuckled and picked her up, instantly quieting her cries.

The last egg rocked and rocked but the little dragen inside couldn’t seem to make even the smallest hole in the thick skin of the egg. Seranil shook his head and gently poked a small tear on one side. The family watched with joy as the tear grew big enough to reveal the hatchling inside.

The little one cooed and held out her arms to Seranil immediately. “Hello, little one,” he greeted her, lifting her free of the torn egg. “Are you happy to be out in the great wide world?”

“It would seem she is?” Kina said, snuggling the hatchling she held.

“I’m glad they’re all out and about. Soon we can play together all day. Right, Papa?” Braitha said as she bounced to her feet. “We can fly and explore the caverns, and – ”

“Let them fledge before you talk about flying with them, darling,” Seranil said. He bumped Kina with his forehead and murmured, “They’re so beautiful.”

“I’m so glad that everything is turned out so well,” Kina said softly. “Elder Toram is settling so nicely. Elder Synaera has decided that being out among other dragens isn’t so bad. She’s such a sweet dam.”

“Elder Teliya is settling in quite nicely too,” Seranil said. “A whole new generation of elders and young ones that will be able to live in a peaceful world… something I never thought we’d see.”

“I’m glad we can,” Kina murmured as she leaned on his shoulder. Seranil nodded but didn’t speak. For the first time in decades, he felt at peace.

Advertisements

Chapter Twenty-five Excerpt

Strength Will Endure the Deception of Pain

Most elders had spare nests in rooms adjacent to their offices; to sleep in if they worked late into the night so they wouldn’t disturb their mates or so they didn’t have to travel far late at night. Elder Seranil was no exception. This night, after Elder Zarentil had finished with him, Seranil lay trembling in his reserve nest.

“You won’t get in my way, will you?” Zarentil whispered as he stood.

“No,” Seranil managed after a moment. “I… see now. I can’t – I can’t fight you.” He bit back a sob and tensed when the other elder loomed close.

“No tears, now,” Zarentil hissed. “Little Kina will wonder what’s got you so upset and we wouldn’t want any… unnecessary explanations. Would we, Seranil?”

“No,” Seranil whispered. He closed his eyes and tried to force himself toward a calm he did not feel. He heard Zarentil dressing in a whisper of fabric. The door to his office opened and closed and he sensed the other dragen leave his den, then the caverns altogether. He was planning on killing Elder Myro.

Though, he trembled at the thought of what Zarentil would do if he learned of the deception, Seranil got up and dressed quickly. Zarentil had mentioned nearly catching Elder Myro on his way home from the meeting. He’d mentioned trying to use the spell that would make him lay eggs – both to feed the ravenous demons and to kill him in a most horrible manner. He wouldn’t have made it far under the backlash of such a spell. Since the youngest elder hadn’t shown up in any of the Brightstone Mountains caverns, chances were good that he’d ended up in one of the Stoneburst Cliffs caverns.

Seranil crept into the communication’s room and set his hands around the summoning stone. Small bits of dust and dirt danced around the bright gem and it flared to life. “Tinkling Caves, Apprentice Maraphil speaking, how can I help you?” a tired looking dam said.

“It’s vitally important for me to speak to Elder Taurin. Can you tell him that Elder Seranil requests an audience, please?” he said, striving to keep the tremor from his voice. He didn’t want to incite a panic. He knew he must remain calm.

You’d Better Begin the Prayer to Play

“The sub-elders that you’ve got working with us now, you mean? What of it?” Seranil asked, he started to relax but something odd made him ask, “Who saw you? What were you planning to do with him? What are you planning on doing now?”

“Full of questions tonight, aren’t you?” Zarentil said in a cool voice. “Little Elder Myro saw me with my subordinates – not the sub-elders. Those… folks see you as their leader. I’m referring, of course, to the reason why it’s so easy to make it look like demons attacked those who’ve… gotten in my way.”

“You have demons working for you?” Seranil asked in shock. “How did you manage that?”

“They’ve been working for me for quite some time, Seranil,” he replied. There was just a hint of gloating in his voice. “I taught you their language, remember? I showed you how to contact them… how to get into their realm.”

Seranil’s eyes widened as a thought struck him. He stumbled back and looked up at Zarentil with new fear in his eyes. “The demons united… under you? You’re their leader? But – but how?”

Zarentil shrugged and untied his robe. Seranil watched in a mixture of horror and fascination as the fabric fell loose. A small tail – unlike any dragen would ever possess flicked free of the fabric. “It’s all very simple, Seranil. I’m half demon myself and they respond to those stronger than themselves. The combination of the two magics makes me quite formidable, even compared with a much larger demon.”

Seranil swallowed several times before he found his voice. “You – you played me!” he managed finally.

Zarentil’s eyes narrowed in a sly smile. “Like a harp,” he confirmed.

Seranil sunk into the chair he’d so recently vacated. “You… my family… my wife… my children. My son… you promised to help me get him back. That’s why I’ve done… all of this. Where’s my son?”

Zarentil chuckled softly and shook his head. “Poor naïve Seranil,” he murmured. “He died years ago. He was a good lay, nice and tight; but just a little too… spirited.”

“You bastard!” Seranil shouted. He launched himself at the larger dragen but was easily caught. To his utter shock, Zarentil swiftly removed his clothes until he was a naked as the fire dragen. “Let me go,” he protested as Zarentil pushed him up against the wall. He gasped and struggled as a hand caressed his backside.

“Seranil,” Zarentil crooned. “I’d like to keep working with you. I’d love to let you keep your new family… and that sweet little girl from your first mate. If you become an obstacle, that won’t be possible, no matter how much I’d like it. Demons are telepathic and I can call down my hordes in a moment. Or you can behave yourself and become the figurehead leader of the dragens, understand?”

Seranil knew he was shaking but there was no way to still the tremors. His breath came in short pants. He had been such a fool. His mind went back to that day, almost twenty years ago when Zarentil had come to him. He’d said he wanted to give comfort and commiserate; now Seranil saw that the half-demon had seen him as the perfect pawn. “Alright, you win. Please don’t… don’t hurt my family. I couldn’t bear losing them – not again.”

“Shall I answer your other questions?” Zarentil whispered into his ear. He was alarmingly close. His hand hadn’t moved from Seranil’s backside. It was, in fact, circling ever closer to certain sensitive areas. “I was planning on doing to him similar to what I plan on doing to you now. You won’t lay eggs of course. Using the spell on you would kill you and you’re to valuable a pawn for that, even now. Since he knows more than he should, I’ll give him the same choice I’m giving you. You can do as I wish and live or you can fight me and die. What’s it to be, Seranil?”

“Please… I won’t fight you but please don’t – don’t…” Seranil trailed off as Zarentil caught his hips firmly. “No, no, please. No!” the smaller dragen screamed under Zarentil as the larger dragen began his assault in earnest.

Chapter Seventeen Excerpt

What Comes After a War is One Game

Seranil settled back watching the warriors train. Even they didn’t know what he was planning, though they were an integral part of the plan. If the plan was to succeed, he couldn’t afford to be as lax as some of the elders were being in the training of their mages and warriors. The others knew that “some day” the seal would fail and the demons would some through. Seranil knew that it would begin failing soon; most likely that very season. He wondered if Zarentil realized that the time was so close as well.

They had gained two more cohorts. The sub-elders of both the storm and water clans had joined them in their mission. Zarentil had sent a message that he was leaning on the sub-elder of the lightning clan to get on board as well. The sub-elders would be his elite guard in Seranil’s vision of the future. He smiled, thinking about all the dragen clans united under one leader, himself.

He’d seen it during the first demon war, and even before, when he had been a fledgling dragen training under his father to take the reins of leadership. The demons had always made incursions into the dragen territory. Small bands of demons had raided outlying caverns and dens, stealing nestlings, killing and raping their hapless victims. It had always been seen as an internal security problem, best dealt with by the individual elders of each clan.

Then the demons had united under a single leader and the attacks had become more organized. Instead of occasional raids, there were almost constant attacks. Death and kidnapping became a commonplace problem. Still, the eldest had not taken the reins, as he should have. Instead he had called a convocation and let the individual elders dither about what they should do. No one told anyone to do anything. Everything was left up to the individual to decide.

Seranil had ground his teeth in frustration as meeting after meeting, the elders had worried more about their own individual clans instead of the whole of dragen-kind. They were safe enough. They rarely had to deal with loss directly. Oh, Jesin and Shyrala had lost a son and Nemone had lost a daughter. The current ice dragen elder and sub-elder had both lost their parents. None had suffered the losses that he had because of the simple refusal of the others to get together on the same page. He’d lost his parents, his mate and all his children in one fell swoop simply because there was no single leader to decide how to distribute the troops during the conflict

He’d set a plan into motion that day. With the help of Zarentil, he’d sabotaged the sealing spell. If he hadn’t, his son would have been locked away in the demon realm. He’d gone back there many times hoping the demons would tell him where they had his son. He desperately needed to believe that Braitha hadn’t been the only survivor of the attack. He’d given much to the demons; more than he probably should have, in the hopes that they would return his son.

Now though, he had occasional doubts. Kina had eggs warming in the nest, as Areah had twenty years ago. What if the demons raided again? He shook the thought away. The plan would work; it must.

Chapter Seven Excerpt

Your Foolishness is a Beautiful Curve in this Crazy Game

 Kina sat beside her father seeming to absorb everything the patient older dragen said.  Seranil was never sure just how much penetrated that pretty little head of hers though.  She was such an innocent, that her intelligence was called into question.

 Some said innocence was something that people grew out of.  Seranil doubted very much that this was actually the case.  The sub-elder was almost as innocent as his daughter.  Throughout the ten year war with the demons, he had truly believed that the dragens would find a way simply because they were the victims of the attacks and not the perpetrators.  The idea that might truly made right was foreign to him.

 He was teaching his daughter to think along the same lines of honor and fair play being more important than getting ahead.  Seranil never complained that his sub-elder was a naïve fool merely made it easier for him to work in the shadows.

 Anyone who met the man, or his daughter, would never believe that they even came from the same clan as Seranil.  Not if they knew what the earth dragen elder truly thought.  He made sure to keep his thoughts to himself, naturally.  His own assistant had no idea what he really thought half the time.

 However the time for quietly fuming about the foolishness of his sub-elder was nearing its end.  The silly little thing had outlived his usefulness and his daughter, who would take his place upon his death, was now becoming a useful pawn.

 He watched the pair as they chatted.  His plans were about to come to fruition.  All the pieces were finally in place.  The agreement that he and the demon leaders had come to was mutually beneficial.  The seal was worn down enough that it wouldn’t take much for the demons to emerge again. 

 He’d, in fact, helped a few through the small rifts, just to make his own story more believable.  All it had taken was a whisper in the right ear at the World Gate Keep and no one had been the wiser.  Now though, he needed to be rid of his sub-elder.  The fool would feel honor bound to intervene and was, strangely, just savvy enough that he would catch on to any illicit activities of his elder.

 His daughter, on the other hand, was innocent enough that the idea of her elder being duplicitous would be foreign to her.  She would even follow orders that her father would have questioned in his bumbling way.

“Hello Yanosan, Kina,” he greeted finally.

 

“Hello, Elder,” the girl said softly.  She had a pretty blush and Seranil smiled, envisioning her as his mate when he finally came into the power that was rightfully his.

 

“Elder Seranil, what a pleasant surprise,” Yanosan replied.  He bowed cordially and set aside the papers they had been looking over.  “I was just going over the accounts with Kina.  She’s past the age when her training as my successor should have begun.”

 

“Of course,” Seranil said softly.  “I’m certain that you can train her to be an excellent successor for you.”

 

“It’s also past time, if you don’t mind my pointing out, that you found a mate.  You, yourself should be looking into finding a successor as well,” Yanosan said.  Kina looked wide-eyed at him, as if shocked by his boldness.

 

“Don’t be so shocked, Kina.  Your father is absolutely right.  However finding the right mate for the elder is a difficult task.  Perhaps, you could recommend someone, Yanosan?” he said smoothly.

 

Yanosan smiled and nodded.  “I’ll begin looking into the records and give you my recommendations as soon as I can,” he said.  His small ear-wings flicked as a thought occurred to him.  “But, I’m sure that you came to see us for a particular reason and not to hear me scold you about finding a wife.  Can I help you Elder Seranil?”

 “The records from the demon war, where are they stored?” Seranil asked softly.

 “I can show you,” Yanosan said.  “It would be easier than telling you.  Or rather… perhaps I could just fetch them for you.”

 “That would be very helpful.  Eldest wants to make sure we kept accurate records of all those slain in battle.  Grim business I know but it must be done.  I can’t imagine why he waited ten years to do it.”  He smiled as the other dragen nodded, accepting that ploy.  Soon he was alone with the girl.

 “Kina,” he said softly.  “Perhaps it would be too forward but… are you interested in any particular young sire?”

 “Elder Seranil?” she squeaked, blushing a deep red.  “I… not – not really.  But would it… I mean… someday I might be your sub-elder.  Would that be… appropriate?”

 He smiled.  The silly little chick didn’t even bother to wonder why a mature dragen would be interested in setting his cup for a girl who was hardly more than a fledgling.  She was worried about proprieties.  “Of course it’s appropriate.  The messengers just arrived this morning with news that the ice dragen elder has set his cup for his sub-elder.  That was apparently their parents’ plan all along.”

 “Oh, wow.  That’s wonderful news,” she said.  The blush hadn’t left her cheeks.  If anything it had spread down her neckline.  He watched her breasts heave with each breath and wondered how long he had until Yanosan came back with the records.

 He leaned and breathed the girl’s scent.  “You smell delicious,” he murmured.  Her blush deepened and he wondered just how much of her pale flesh had reddened by now.  He smiled broader and murmured, “Perhaps you can visit me this evening.”

 “Per-perhaps,” she whispered back.  He nibbled at the edge of her ear-wing and her eyes fluttered shut.  If he could get the silly chick in his bed, she would be even more biddable.  He smiled at the thought of what would likely happen that night, even as Zarentil took care of her father and paved the way for his plans to proceed.

A Crow Buries its Secret

Zarentil frowned as Seranil left him.  Why did he always have to do the dirty work anyway?  Why couldn’t the other dragen run any of his own errands?  He certainly had the ideas and the plans but when it came to the follow through, he just couldn’t do it without help.

 The fire elder waited until Seranil’s second was alone to attack.  Without witnesses it would be very easy to blame the attack on demons.  The smaller dragen went easily enough, if not quietly.  He moaned and whimpered throughout the attack.  He gasped and wept as the eggs flowed out of him.  He was only silent as his blood oozed out over the floor.

 Seranil gathered the eggs.  The halflings would make useful slaves after they grew a little.  They would be small, like their dam, perfect for the mines.  The other dragens would assume the demons ate the eggs.  The fire elder smiled at a job well done.  It wouldn’t be long until someone found the body.  But he’d be long gone by then.  It was one more step to his being the second most powerful dragen in the realm.

I’ve Squandered All These Years

Seranil listened to the hum of voices around him.  The other elders were trying to figure out what was happening.  Who had killed the elders of the One and Other Clans?  Who had killed his own sub-elder?  The fact that all three high ranking dragens had been killed by the same party or parties was a foregone conclusion.  The murders had all be perpetrated in the same singular manner.

 He shifted his wings and looked over at Zarentil.  The other elder looked excited – or perhaps anxious.  He’d been the murderer after all.  If the others figured that out he’d be in trouble.  Seranil rolled his eyes and let his boredom show.  He was surrounded by fools who were too self-absorbed to see the bigger picture.

 When he thought about the time he’d wasted as his father’s heir it made him want to gnash his teeth in frustration.  For far too long the dragens had been ruled by a weak council of elders.  They needed a strong leader.  Someone who could rule all the dragen clans with an iron fist.  He was that dragen.  It was only a matter of time until he was chosen as Eldest.  He only had to get to the old fool.  Then all the years spent treating idiots as his equals would be repaid a hundred fold.

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

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.