This is the fourth of my five-part novelette The Great Kasdran and the Fairy Queen that I am posting here and on Wattpad on Sundays. There is adventure, action, some drama, and a bit of romance against a mythological, legendary backdrop.
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The Great Kasdran and the Fairy Queen – Part 4
Soon they landed before the cathedral in ruins Kasdran had known in his past journey, a building of broken towers and blackened walls. The doors had long been gone. They made their way in and, though most of the place was damaged, the stained glass remained surprisingly untouched. The colors were fainted, but they were still there over the altar.
The Fairy Queen walked onto it and knelt. The Sword Sorcerer never saw she kneel before and never would afterwards. Something of great importance was about to happen, he felt it. Azinvarsh was uneasy, and Alynna was very serious.
The Sovereign of the Firstborn sang a prayer to the angels with all her heart – a prayer she learned in childhood, never to be forgotten; yet nothing happened.
“Say the prayer with me,” the Queen commanded. “You too, Azinvarsh.”
They all sang on the altar. Not long after, a light came through the stained glass. Nothing was shining on the other side – not on that world: the light was coming from the Celestial Dominions.
Large, white wings appeared; garments of blue and red draped in the breeze that blew warm; auburn hair and bright eyes made out of the light. Three angels stood in front of them.
“Tell us who are you,” spoke one ethereal and calm voice, “and the purpose of your summoning.”
“I am the Queen of the Fae, and I brought you here to ask for help.”
“Why does the Queen of the Fae require us?” another angel asked.
“The malignancy of the Infernal Dominions is unleashed. The gates once sealed are now open again. Without the Celestial forces, no life in this world shall endure. I ask for an alliance like our people had once made. I ask for the salvation of my kin, my vassals, my world.”
There was a brief moment of silence, and then an angel spoke, “We refuse.”
No further explanation followed. The Queen did not believe the words she heard, and asked, “I beg your pardon?”
“We are not intervening this time,” said the third angel. “We refuse.”
“We have upheld before this alliance you propose, yet it failed. Your forefathers broke their oath, and you are prone to do likewise. There already has been too much tears in Heaven.”
“It failed not!” the Queen insisted. “The war ended, and we won! The demons were purged, the Yllysh cast away, and the gates of Hell were sealed. We all did suffer losses, for every war has its price… But we won!”
“Did you?” an angel asked. “One might not be so certain.”
“We shall spend no more time here002C” said another. “Farewell, Queen of the Fae.”
“All I am asking is help to save lives!” the Queen raised her raging voice. “To save my world! My people!”
“These matters are yours and yours only.”
“You will watch the Fae die rather than avoid such atrociousness!”
“We shall leave now…” one angel said.
“No, I shall leave you. You deserve not any respect from anyone who lives in my Kingdom. I shall leave you, and try to save the Fae. I shall not give them up to merciless slaughter.”
The Fairy Queen turn her back on the angels and left the altar.
“Come with me, Azinvarsh,” she called. “And Alynna, my sorceress. Kasdran, you shall find your way to aid Lord Eudalos and the Army of Light in the battlefield. Do not disappoint me.”
“Kasdran…” Alynna started.
“It is fine,” he replied. “This is no farewell. Follow the Queen.”
The Great Kasdran was left behind with the tree angels on the altar. They were slowly returning to the light from the stained glass.
“You are not leaving,” the Sword Sorcerer declared. “You remain.”
“The Queen is gone, she called for us. The summoning is over.”
“It is not,” Kasdran was categorical. “I also called for you. I said the prayer. I am your summoner as well, and I say our gathering proceeds.”
“What is it you wish from us, swordsman?”
“Call me Kasdran. I wish for two things you can finely deliver. The first one is a unique knowledge. Enlighten me on the matter of the oathbreaking Fae in the War of Tears so I can comprehend what you just did to the Queen.”
“In a few words, the Syllanthari swore to avoid the deliberate killing of their brothers, the Yllysh. Nonetheless, they grasped all opportunities to spare the dark Fae of their own lives. Pure hatred; a cruel massacre. Such shame and pain… Such regret. We gave them power to defeat Evil, however they were unable to defeat their inner demons. The Syllanthari turned to their brothers with their hearts vilified by bloodlust. The oath was upheld no longer. What we feared the most had come to pass, and our alliance ended along with the sealing of the Infernal gates. We never spoke ever since. Not until this day.”
The Great Kasdran mused for a while, then said, “So I see. You hold no trust to the Fae, and thus you will allow their world to be savaged and brought to ashes for there is no power in the Fae lands capable of surmounting the Infernal forces on its own. You refused assistance to the Queen in order to bestow upon the Syllanthari the consequences of the misdeeds of their ancestors, despite the doom which will impend on all other living races. And there is none who can convince you otherwise.”
“Sorrow not, for I possess the mean to prevent the demise of the Fae World.”
“Do you? And what would that be?”
The angels could see through the heart of men, not the mind. They said, “Expatiate.”
“I am no Fae, and I am your summoner. I wish to see this world living on. I am the one asking your aid against the Infernal hordes. Give us all the power we need, take part on the closure of this war, and I give you my word no past misdeed shall happen again. My human word, the word of Kasdran. I deserve your trust, do I not?”
This was the time for the angels to muse. “You do indeed,” said one of them. “Nevertheless, we are not quite certain what extent you give us your word to. After all, you are only passing by. You are a stranger as this world is strange to you. We are inclined to concede you your wish as long as you convince us of your cherishing for the Fairy Lands.”
“No, by deed.”
The Sword Sorcerer smiled, and said, “Hence it shall be done. I would give my life for this world and the ones who live here.”
As the Great Kasdran walked away from the altar, he declared aloud, “Watch me. I know you can.”
* * *
The Fairy Queen’s power made them unseen to anyone’s eyes and they went to the gates of the Infernal Dominions, deep in the Night Lands. There the Counselor was watching as the war ravaged north and south and east from the crimson stone of his scepter, which was nailed to the ground. The Queen dismissed the spell as they landed and she revealed herself to him.
“It is done already, there is nothing you can do,” the Counselor said. “The angels will not come, and the Yllysh are bound to sacrifice themselves. It is over, Ruler of the Kingdom.”
“It is over only when I say so,” she retorted. “Now, you tell me why all this. I always knew of your Yllysh blood, but I accepted you. I trusted you. Speak out, I am listening.”
The gates of the Infernal Dominions were two black, high, and pointed pillars in the middle of nowhere. Exhaling fume and screams and hopelessness, a magic portal to an even somber land was bound between them with twisting rays of dark energy. A frail reddish glow was coming out of it. The Counselor was in front of the gates with his scepter like a general atop of a hill observing his army.
“It is your fault,” he said, and tried to explain, “I made my attempts to bring us a different closure, to bring the Kingdom as little pain and suffering as possible. I did try to save your life and your sanity when I took your heart away. You know that quite well. But then everything started to fall apart. That human sorceress of yours, only a toy for you to play around with, she found that devilish human swordmage and together they doomed my quiet conquest of the Fairy Throne. I would have you mine, your life would be spared, and… and you would have my unconditional and eternal love. The only Syllanthari to live on with dignity, for you would be mine. Yet you had to shamefully fall for that mischievous human. And he does not even love you in return! His feelings are towards the human female, his dirty accomplice. That serves you well, lonely and spoiled queen of nothing. You deserve it. You deserve it all. And I want to watch you fall; I am gladly doing so at this moment. I can hear already another battalion on its way to the gates. I assure you, I am enjoying every second of it all!”
The Fairy Queen listened to every word of her Counselor in silence. She understood the meaning of each one of them. Her face uncovered neither joy nor sadness. She was still wearing her emerald dress with purple strips and little sapphires. Her hair gave away her feelings for it was blazing red.
She went face to face with the Counselor.
“Despite all the things you did and you said,” the Queen raised a finger and gingerly touched the Counselor’s lips, and then went down to his chest, “there is one thing I shall confess to you before the end.”
The Counselor’s eyes were wide open. He trembled, and said, “You dare not!”
“Yes, I do dare,” the Fairy Queen replied in whispers. “Before the end I shall confess to you…”
For one moment Alynna, who was observing the dialogue from a safe distance with Azinvarsh, thought the Queen would deliver some sort of kindness towards the Counselor, but that moment was gone fast. The Fairy Queen words could freeze an ocean.
“You made me a better queen when you took my heart away. Watch how I rule.”
She shoved him off through the gates and his scream was all but despair. She looked down at the scepter. Alynna could not have imagined what the Queen was thinking.
“Why he loves you and not me?” the Fairy Queen asked Alynna. “Kasdran! Why he loves you and not me?”
Alynna was scared and surprised. She said, “I cannot say, I do not comprehend either…”
The Queen went on, her rage bursting out, “He should love me! I am the Queen! I conquer whoever I desire whenever I intend to! Then, why not him? Why can I not make him love me?” The Fairy Queen was now holding the Counselor’s scepter. “Why is my love not enough?” she asked, lowering her voice. “Why could it not be enough for both of us?”
Alynna gave no answer. She did not possess one.
“He will try to come back,” the Queen said. “You shall hold him off. He and whatever tries to come through.”
She meant the Counselor. And the demons. Alynna was astonished by the orders of the Queen.
“Go forth, you are the Sorceress of the Court,” the Queen insisted. “You shall obey me and defend my Kingdom. His power is much diminished for he lacks his scepter.”
The Counselor was about to cross back the portal when Alynna made swift gestures, said a few words, and blew him away with a strong gust of wind. She said, “My Queen, this is madness! I cannot defend the Kingdom against all hordes of Hell! I cannot hold these gates alone!”
“You would be better off if you do it,” the Queen said. “Otherwise you would doom the world you grew up loving and the ones who ever cared about you. And your beloved Kasdran, of course.”
“Where are you going to?!”
“I am going to stand by my people. It is my duty as their Queen. Now, do yours.”
“My Queen! You are not yourself! Come back! How do we seal these gates?!”
“We cannot. Only the angels can.”
“Then there is no hope… The angels will not attend us…”
“I shall find the Sword Sorcerer. If he is as bright as I assume him to be, he might have done something about the angels already…”
“What do you mean, Your Highness?”
“I mean I conquer whoever I desire whenever I intend to, Sorceress of the Court,” she said, and mounted on Azinvarsh. “Farewell.”
She flew away on the King of Birds and left Alynna alone in the middle of the Night Lands by the gates of Hell.
[End of Part 4]
Final part next sunday. See you!