The Great WillowMature

Contrary to popular stereotypes, the Fae  were a very intimidating bunch. There were no green sparkles of fairy dust lingering in their wakes, or microscopic villages built out of spools of thread. The truth was the power that these mystical creatures spun was a product of the energy that surrounded them. And right now that energy was bleak and angry.

 The faeries of Avelen looked more like vengeful angels with their life sized bodies and enormous wings that shielded their backs'. They were a scorned bunch of citizens; eager for revenge. And there was none more eager to paint the kingdom with the blood of his enemies than Jace Pendras.

  Ever since the untimely death of his parents during the last King’s rule, Jace had stayed awake at night plotting ways to find and torture the former King who was rumored to be a dragon tamer now. There was one thing he needed first and foremost; the tome of his ancestors.

 The tome was a magical device crafted by the ancient fae. It wielded great power and secrets of Fae sorcery. When the outlandish king took throne he pillaged Aura, the land of the Fae, for anything that might aid them with more power, in fear that the Fae would rebel against his harsh rule. Luckily most of the text was written in the language of the ancients so it could not be used against the Fae.

 The former king tried to decipher the cryptic passages and failed miserably. When he couldn't decode the tome on his own, he kidnapped Jace's mother Merra; a well-educated fairy and the tome’s previous owner. He tried forcing her into translating the text. When she refused, the king took her life, and hung her corpse as a warning to the other Fae. In retaliation Jace's father went after the King; hell bent on avenging his wife. Unfortunately for Jace’s father, the King’s army had intercepted his advances towards the King and killed him as well. Since then there had been tension and mistrust amongst the royals and the Fae, even after the Elder's raised up against the King's authority and exiled him from the Kingdom.

 The meeting began promptly at midnight. It was held inside a huge willow that the Fae had willed into growing the size of one of the castle’s towers. The Great Willow was dark inside, the only light was that which emanated off of of the fairies; the female citizens of the fae. Pen emanated a near blinding glow, as she was perhaps one of the more anxious fairies in the room. She was young and her parent's death had been hard on her. Unlike Jace, Pen's emotions were more visible - almost tangible. It was now Jace's job to look out for her and be her protector in his parent's absence.

 Both siblings were eager and always early to arrive whenever a meeting was held in Aura. They had always hoped for news of the lost tome. Lately these meetings had not been more than "keep your chin up, we'll find it"- inspirational speeches. But today there was a vibrant energy amongst the council members. Even with their stoic faces and well poised demeanors, Jace could sense excitement and a need for revenge. The other Fae detected it as well. There were whispers; a buzz amongst the crowd. 

 "Silence! Citizens!" Council member Randalph; the oldest most respected member on the team of five, stood up, and everyone else found their seats immediately. The rest of the council sat on high backed chairs that were delicately carved into the tree's internal organs. “I am going to keep this speech short and to the point. There has been a lead on the tome." 

 Jace bolted out of his seat and rushed towards the Council.

 Maedrella, the second oldest council member stood up. “Is there a problem Mr. Pendras?"

 Jace struggled to catch his breath. "My parents," he huffed. “The tome was an heirloom passed on to my mother. Once recovered it should be in my possession and mine only!"

 Before another word could be uttered Jace felt a pressure weigh down on each of his arms as the Council's personal guards came forward to restrain him. 

 “You will calm down and address us respectfully Mr. Pendras" Council woman Maedrella said in a stern, warranting voice.

 Jace bowed his head, growing impatient "Yes Mam but I-“

 His words were cut off by Council woman Madrella. “Since you are so eager perhaps you will be able to track down the tome's new keeper. We believe that she is in alliance with the former king. She needs to be brought to an end, before she becomes a greater issue."

 There was an audible gasp from the citizens seated before the Council. Jace froze. On the spot Assassination? Even for the Fae this seemed barbaric. "Are you sure this is what you want?" He looked into the solemn faces of the council for a trace of doubt. There was none.

 Randalph put a hand on Maedrella’s shoulder and she sat back down. His voice boomed high above the whispers in the room. His strong wings quivered against his spine as if they were aching to shoot out. Though he was old, Randalph was powerful figure with an intimidating presence "Are you second guessing the Council Mr. Pendras?"

 Jace shrunk back against the two men restraining him. “No sir."

 "Very well. Show him the girl,” Randalph ordered.

 On a long table stretched out in front of the elders, sat a glass globe that to anyone else appeared to be a pretty glass prism; a decorative piece. In truth it was a well kept secret, because not even the former king had discovered its worth. Mae placed her palm on the prism until the reflected colors of light created a moving picture inside of it. It was a young woman charging a dragon monster with a raised sword.

  If Jace didn’t know any better he'd say that her fierceness could make her a cold blooded murderer, someone to be associated with the former king. But he knew better. He studied the human’s familiar features. He had met this girl. She was his sister's savior.  

 Pen whimpered in her seat, as she too recognized the human. Jace shot her a warning look. The Fae were stubborn people. Once they had their minds made up about someone there was little that could be done to change them.  There was nothing Jace could do or say without getting himself and Penelope into hot water. To these people this human girl had become a stigma, someone who would be killed on the spot, if not by Jace's hands then by someone else's. Jace swallowed past the lump in his throat to speak. “I’ll do it. I’ll kill her.”


The End

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