Magician Chronicles: The White Daffodil - Part One
Many years ago in a now forgotten kingdom lived a king, a queen, and a princess. The queen loved her daughter greatly and raised her with the knowledge to run the city. Yet the king refused to let a female sit in his mighty throne. Late one night he stole his daughter out of the castle, taking her deep into the forest and abandoned her. In the morning, the king blamed his daughter's disappearance on a magician that lived high up in the cliffs not too far from the village; the king, knowing very well that his daughter would not be found, sent his soldiers to the cliffs to find her. The soldiers searched for the cave hidden in the cliffs, yet they never found a hidden cave, nor did they find the magician or the princess.
When it became time for the king to step off of his throne, he picked a bullheaded, greedy villager to take his place. The queen, grieving over the loss of her daughter, locked herself away, where she was blind to what the city would become, or the dark future that had been brought upon the villagers.
The princess grew up in the forest alone. Many times she tried to find her home, yet the king had taken her so far into the forest she could not find her way back. She built her own house and made a beautiful garden that was lush with flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
Many years later a stranger stopped by, stating that he had stumbled upon the princess's home, He looked hungry and lonely, so the princess invited him in. The stranger was amazed by her garden's beauty; one flower in particular caught his eye, a large white daffodil. He asked if he could take the flower home with him, and the princess happily gave him the daffodil. He promised that one day he would return to the princess and bring the most beautiful flower he could find. With that, the princess bid her guest farewell. She blinked once as her guest walked away and he had disappeared without a trace, just like he had come.
Outside the thunderstorm raged on. The Lupe grumbled as he closed door and sat back down by the fireplace. It was not the storm that worried him but the guards that walked the streets. They were coming closer. He grabbed a pail of water that was near his chair and threw the water on the flames, stifling them. The Lupe held his breath as he heard the steps grow in strength as the guards came closer. Then the beats of their footsteps stopped. The Lupe's heart felt like it was trying to jump out of his chest; he was afraid for his life of the guards, for they were not here to deliver good news.
Without knocking, a large Tonu burst through the door, and the other guards filed in. The Tonu was easily the largest of the guards. His size alone would strike fear into a simple villager; the large axe at his side and solid armor only increased the Tonu's intimidating appearance. "You're late again, Lupe," snarled the Tonu. "The King requires that his weekly payments are met."
"Your King doesn't have enough gold to roll around in yet?" muttered the Lupe.
"Silence, you fool!" snapped the Tonu. "How dare you refer to your-"
"That greedy fool will never be my king!" the Lupe interrupted the Tonu, his eyes now flashing. "Never will I bow down to him; never will I willingly serve him. He has destroyed the city I used to call home, the city that used to be your home, Torin!"
"I said silence!" screamed the Tonu as he grabbed his axe and pointed it threateningly at the Lupe. They glared at each other for a few tense seconds. Torin turned to the other guards. "Search his house, take anything of value." Obeying, the guards marched past Torin and started opening all of the cupboards and drawers, taking nearly everything the Lupe owned.
"Torin, please," sighed the Lupe as he stared at the floor. "How are you so blind to what is happening to this village? What you have done to your family and your friends? How do you glance over the slow destruction of your home?"
"I don't see any problem," growled Torin, his axe still pointing at the Lupe. "I serve the King and he repays me well."
"With what? Armor and the power to bully those you grew up with?" said the Lupe, now looking back up at Torin.
The guards were returning to Torin's side now. In their arms were the majority of the Lupe's belongings. Torin smiled; he was satisfied with his findings.
"I expect for you to no longer delay in your payment for the King. I shall be back within a week. Be sure to have the payment then, or I will take more than just your belongings." And with that, the guards marched out of the Lupe's house, Torin in front, leading them on to the next house.
Sighing, the Lupe sat back down in his chair, feeling defeated. For years he had been bullied by Torin, the Tonu he had watched grow up. And then the old king had named his new heir; since that day the new king had set laws in place that slowly were draining the life from the city. The Lupe could only pray that something would put an end to the king's greedy rule; all he could do was hope that the end was coming soon.
Warm rays of the morning light touched Aierania's face, waking her from her peaceful sleep. She sat up in her small bed and stretched, grateful that her dreams had not been haunted by nightmares which had become a normal occurrence in the past few years. Today was different. Aierania didn't know why, but she felt that something had changed; something special was going to happen today. She stood up and gathered some nuts and fruits for breakfast and sat down at her little wooden table.
Many years ago, Aierania had found herself abandoned in this forest by her own father. He had been ashamed of her for being a girl and had hidden her in the forest and told her to never return to her kingdom. If she even tried, he said that he would send his soldiers to capture her and lock her in the dungeons. His threat had kept her in the forest from the age of a young girl to a full grown adult. At first she missed her mother and the castle and wanted nothing more than to return to her former life.
Aierania knew, though, deep down, that such fantasies would never come true and she needed to make the best out of the situation. So she had started to build her home, little by little. First it started out as just a lean-to to protect her from storms. Slowly it grew into a small circular shaped house, with clay dishes, and full of many plants that had incorporated themselves into the walls and ceilings and along the floor. Aierania had made herself a new kingdom; outside her house she had planted many flowers, fruits, and vegetables that she had found in her adventures in the forest. She loved to sit out in her garden and enjoy the bright mixtures of colors and different shapes of all of the flowers. Over time, Aierania had made her own kingdom.
Though Aierania was royalty, she did not look like it now. She was a royal Zafara, but now her dress was dull and torn. No one would ever believe it had a light blue shimmer years ago, and would only have been worn by someone of wealth and status. Aierania's hard past had shaped her into a strong willed being. She had adapted to the wilderness in order to survive. If anyone from her kingdom saw her now, they would not recognize her as the princess that had been taken so long ago.
The morning came and went and Aierania enjoyed the warm sun in her garden. Yet late into the afternoon, she felt the rays of the sun start to fade as gray clouds crept into the sky. She could sense the rain coming, she had learned to feel the air and listen to the forest to predict when bad weather was coming, and Aierania could feel the air telling her that more than just rain was coming her way. The clouds quickly turned from gray to black as the wind picked up. Aierania moved back inside her house before the storm hit.
Raging through the night the storm howled on. Lightning flashed, followed by raging thunder. Aierania could not sleep though the storm. She sat up tending to her plants that were inside. It must have been late in the night when she heard an odd sound, or she thought she did, as the thunder boomed once again. She ignored it, but then Aierania heard it again seconds later. She froze with fear. It had sounded like.... almost like, a knock. But that was impossible; no one knew that she lived in the forest, no one except.... but no, it couldn't be.
But then she heard the knocking for a third time. This time Aierania could hear it over the loud roars of the storm. Slowly she got up and approached the door. With each step, she could feel her heart beat faster as she held her breath, grabbed the door knob and pushed the door open to find...
Nothing. No one was at her door. Aierania gazed outside, trying to see through the sheets of rain that were now coming down. Maybe she had imagined it? Yet then she heard another sound, a new sound. And it didn't sound like knocking at all; in fact, it sounded like a cry. Aierania was taken aback; she didn't know what to make of the sound and started to search in front of her door. She heard the cry again, this time from her garden. Running around to the other side of her house to the entrance of her garden, she started looking all around. And then she heard it for a third time in the back of her garden, under the bushes. Parting them, Aierania's suddenly took a step back, unable to make senses of what she saw. Under the bushes sat a crying baby Krawk. But... this had not been here this morning, where could he have come from? Aierania picked up the baby Krawk, still confused, but she knew that the best idea now would be to get out of the storm. She would try to find his family in the morning once the storm had passed.
The next morning Aierania searched throughout the forest looking for anyone else that could possibly know or be missing the baby Krawk. Her search was unsuccessful, however, and she tried again the next day only to end up with the same results. For weeks Aierania searched the forest with no luck. She continued to care for the Krawk and had to assume that whoever left him at her house would someday come back for him, hopefully. Years passed, though, and Aierania never saw anyone else in the forest. The baby Krawk grew up and called her his family, for which she was grateful. It was nice to have company after a long time of solitude.
To be continued...