"Now listen carefully, boy. Otherwise you'll ask questions and I hate questions, so I'll try and cover everything about Ery and Diash history I can without going too deep into it" Gruth took a deep breath and began. "My name is Gruth, this is my sister Vita and we aren't human..."
"Yes, I figured that..." Lewis interrupted.
"Shut up, boy!" Gruth narrowed his eyes. "We're one of the four main races on this planet, we are Diash and the people who dominate us, who keep us in slavery over in Thenra is a giant race called the Ery. They came from an island way out in the ocean and invaded Thenra and enslaved every single Diash that lived there centuries ago. Until then the Diash were free, we were pacifists and we were happy. The third race on Beory is the Roduri who actually come from the Eternal Forest of the north, but were driven out after a war with a beast-race called the Quopes. The war between them was so brutal, so violent that only one clan of Roduri lived and escaped into Kalemoors, where they remain cowed farmers and workers - they are untouched by the Ery because they aren't as threatening to them as we are - plus the Roduri stole one Quope crystal, which carried a charm against violence with intent to kill, so the Ery don't come in here - violent fools. Now Thenra has always been dominated by an Ery king or queen, and a few decades back a stupid, drunken king called Ruan took over the throne, he wasn't particularly violent or cruel as other kings had been and are now, but he still refused to release the Diash from slavery and the Ery knights were allowed to do what they wanted with us. Sometimes they broke into Diash houses and killed every single slave in there, even the parents of Dian...our race's children" Gruth paused as though he was remembering something and he looked down at the table for a few seconds with his eyes closed, he was trying to compose himself, Vita looked at him sadly and placed her hands on his shoulders "One day, 19 years ago, the Ery discovered a girl, a 17 year old human girl from Earth. At first they didn't know what she was, Warrain the head-knight captured her and took her to Ruan who, stunned at her beauty ordered her to be locked up in the dungeon where no one could touch her or hurt her, except for him of course. And after a drunken night at yet another banquet the beast broke into the dungeon and raped her, that wasn't the only night it happened and towards the end of the girl's captivation she got pregnant. 9 months later she had a son who Ruan chose to be king- Ruan's other Ery woman, Angerus was infuriated at this as she too had bore him a big strong Ery son named Theolt who she wanted to be king. So she plotted to kill Elizabeth and her baby boy, she told her Ery-witch sister and a slave overheard, a slave called Sethrin. Sethrin had been setting up something to end slavery, to end the cruelty and the killing, something called the Diash Resistance - he and the other two that he had managed to recruit decided to break into the dungeons that very night before Angerus arrived and rescue the girl and the baby. Sethrin seemed to think that the girl was pure, because she came from a place where wars were fought differently to Beory's, where morals were different. So we did. Sethrin, another Diash named Ixen and I broke into the dungeon 2 nights after you were born and rescued the human girl named Elizabeth and her son that night. She was broken, tortured by the Ery who had shown her false love, who had kept her in that dark dingy dungeon for two years. We went back to the portal- the thing you collapsed in earlier- and I escorted her through, holding the baby. But she got lost, I don't know how it happened, I tried looking for her, desperately searching in the deepest, darkest corners of that airless void. She was gone; her soul was imprinted in it. That was the girl you saw before you passed out" Gruth paused and looked Lewis in the eye solemnly "She was your mother, boy"
Lewis stood up and the chair fell backwards, the blonde woman, the blonde woman who had stared at him, who had made him want to cry out in terror because she was so eerie was his mother. Lewis took a deep breath, absorbing the information.
"That makes me half-human...half-Ery"
Gruth nodded "After you were gone, Ruan wreaked a terrible vengeance on Thenra- he marched his Ery knights through all the Thenranian towns and villages, killed the people and knocked down the houses. The Resistance was so low in number that all we could do was evacuate as many slaves as possible to Kalemoors, it was pathetic. The slaves of Thenra are still trying to build themselves back up. Ruan eventually died of poisoning - by Angerus we believe - and Theolt is now on the throne, he wants to wipe us out completely. He's your brother. That's why we needed you here, Lewis. You have strength and Ery magic that the Diash do not possess, it is true that we possess magic but it is far more complicated and much harder to use than Ery magic, despite its defensive power"
Lewis paused for a few more seconds "What do I have to do?"
"Fight with the Resistance, help us take down your half-brother" Gruth narrowed his eyes, annoyed slightly at the stream of obvious questions Lewis kept asking.
Lewis frowned and shook his head, perplexed "But I'm useless, why do you need me so badly? I've never fought, never even stood up for myself when people threw things at my head in school. You could have picked anyone else..."
"You are assumedly the only creature that is half-Ery. Only a small number of Diash know Diash magic, you just need to think one word and the magic is initiated"
"I'm sorry, I can't help you- I really can't, not because I'm scared, but because I'll let you down. So thanks but no thanks" Lewis stood up again and started towards the door.
"And what of your mother, boy?" Gruth knew he had struck a nerve at the mention of Lewis' mother. "She died for you, she gave you to me before we walked through that portal, knowing full well there was a possibility she could get lost. She always wrapped her arms around her stomach when she was pregnant with you to protect you from harm as Ruan beat her. And the one thing she hated was the mistreatment of Diash slaves, even if they were treated better than her. She used to look out the dungeon door and see slaves thrown in to the cell next to hers, they were to be executed for some meagre crime like stealing bread or using Diash magic, she used to talk to them, comfort them in their final hours not even knowing what they looked like or who they were - she'd want you to fight for us too"
Lewis turned round then and looked Gruth in the eye "I'm sure that she wouldn't want me to bring the Diash to its death either"
"You won't..." Vita told him.
"I will" Lewis replied stubbornly.
"You stupid boy!" Gruth stood up suddenly and slammed his fists down on the table.
"Don't call me that!" Lewis' blue eyes flashed with anger as he shouted and started advancing on Gruth, Vita suddenly leapt up and stood in between Gruth and Lewis who were now glaring at each other with intense dislike.
"You dare hurt my brother and I'll show you what real fighting is!" Vita narrowed her eyes in a way that matched her brother's "Gruth only wants to help his planet, if you don't want to do it so be it"
Lewis stared at both of them and walked out the door muttering "I need time to think it over"
Gruth looked at the door after he'd gone and mumbled "Cowardly half-breed"
Vita suddenly slapped him "Don't call him that, Gruth. He's only just found out who he is, he doesn't need insults now. Give him time to think it over and he'll make the right decision, wait and see"
Vita took Gruth's hand and kissed him on the cheek "Brother...if Father was alive today, he'd tell you to be patient wouldn't he? That's what you told me in all the stories about him"
Gruth nodded and absently stroked Vita's face as he stared at the table "I have no patience...I'm nothing like him, you should know that, Sister..."
Lewis lay down on the dark-green grass and stared up at the sky, he was definitely not on Earth any more, the greenish tinge of the atmosphere told him that.
He thought about all he'd heard, about his mother, the blonde girl in the portal, about Ruan, his Ery father and Theolt, his Ery brother. In the space of 12 hours he had learnt all about his family, after 17 years of living by himself in the darkness of alienation, he suddenly knew himself. He knew where he came from, and as his eyelids started to close with exhaustion he thought about Beory in flames, his home-planet gone up in battle and blood and cruelty from the evil descendant of his own father. The familiar singing from in the portal, moments before he passed out, rung through his head once more as he fell asleep. Later, Vita walked out and found him lying in the grass; she went back into the house for a few seconds, and then came back and put a blanket over him. She kissed him on the head.
"Sleep well, Lewis - don't worry about Gruth, he'll like you in time..."
As she walked back towards the house she took another glance at Lewis and smiled before walking inside, letting Lewis sleep under the setting Beory sun.