It turns out, the Astenarata was a bunch of the old creatures. All of them sat in a row behind a wooden counter-type thing, their hoods down to reveal their faces. They looked to be at least 90, if not older, and most of them were wheezing badly.
"Why am I here?" I asked the blonde woman who had brought me. "I don't get why I need to see a bunch of old people that are about to drop dead."
"Do not say such things about the Astenarata!" She scolded me, her face creasing with worry. "They could be the only thing to keep you alive and safe in this world."
"Astrid," one of the oldest looking creatures said. "Why are we staring at this--" He wheezed again. "--Useless child."
"This isn't any child, sir," the blonde woman whose name was apparently Astrid said. "This is Lord Elias."
The Astenarata gasped.
"But I'm not a Lord," I said, finally getting a chance to talk without getting cut off. "Am I?"
Everyone turned to stare at me, as if I had killed someone. They all looked shocked.
"What?" I asked, looking at each of them.
"Do you not know who your father is, boy?" One of the old creatures asked, her voice raspy.
I tried to think back and fish out some memories of him. I couldn't remember a single thing about him, though, except that he had left me and my mom when I was five.
The feeling of not knowing my own father made me want to break down and cry. Normal kids got to see their father every day.
"No, ma'am," I choked out.
"Your father was our Lord. He died in battle nine years ago, fighting against our worst enemy. Now we've decided that you're old enough to take over his throne and fight his battles," she began. "A war worse than we've ever seen is coming, Elias Detriach. And we need you to lead us in it. You're our only hope for survival."