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Chapter Eleven


Upon hearing of a large fire at the Mallard Inn,

And the engagement of a Lela Lseiand to Prince Garvin,

She knew that Keori’s forces were at work.

And, her instincts told her one other thing—

She would have to speak to him about it. …"

—The Pasegean Scrolls

Elanora paced her small dining room, trying to decide how she was going to destroy Keori’s plans and save those remaining in his coven. She had searched for them only the previous day, but the owners of what was once the Mallard Inn had informed her that after the fire all the others had left Zarenn, and that they supposed what was left of them were returning home. Where home was they could not say, but they knew that two women and one man less were travelling with them. Elanora had immediately thought of the materialisation of Lela Lseiand, and how her features matched very clearly those of one of Sidhe’s coven, Llyne Penwhite. Knowing that ‘Lseiand’ was a name generally used for disguise amongst the nobility and magical community, Elanora had eventually figured most of the story out, using veracity spells on witnesses from the fire until she had the information she desired.

"Poor girl," she murmured as she thought of Llyne. She gave up everything for love, which is the noblest cause of all yet lost all hope in doing so. Elanora banged her fist on the dining table as she passed it, then paused and gave a sigh of exasperation. "Oh, if only there were some way to help them all! But I don’t even know what Keori’s plans are for them, or—" An idea sprung into her mind. "Of course!" she cried, "it’s so obvious! Maybe not easy, but obvious nonetheless!"

Awkwardly pulling the table into position, Elanora prepared her makeshift summoning portal. I hope I’m doing this right, she thought, doubt creeping into her mind. It’s not as if I’ve been schooled in summoning evil immortals before … Elanora took a deep breath. "Oh well," she murmured shakily, "what’s the worst that could happen?"

Maybe I should leave this one up to the experts.


Keori lazily looked down upon the city of Zarenn, wondering exactly what was going on in the pitiful lives of his servants. "How boring," he muttered, "to think that I have nothing better to do than wonder about the lives of these mortals." He rolled his eyes as he thought of their antics. "Sidhe and her annoying revenge plots … don’t people have anything better to do than avenge their insignificant lives?"

A tingling feeling crept over his form, and an arrogant sneer then crept over his face. "I wonder who needs to speak urgently with me this time," he said sarcastically, as he projected himself into the world below.

All he could see for a moment were hundreds of pinpricks of light. Candles. Trying to shield his eyes with his transparent arm—a futile action—he squinted out at the two dark silhouettes that stood before him. One was short and plump, the other taller and more slender. Keori focussed on short one and as his eyes began to adjust he glanced toward the other.

He gasped. Her eyes, with their turquoise depths hypnotised him and made everything around him come to a halt. As he stared he saw more of her emerge from the haze: her hair blue-black as the night, skin creamy as milk and her dress that of a mage. With the dim light of the candles behind her she looked like something from a dream, and he noticed that as he stared at her she seemed to be staring straight back into his eyes. He slowly regained his composure and parted his mouth to speak—

"Are you not Keori Apheli, he that proudly reigns over all that is evil?"

Her voice was lilting; honey on his ears, but it had a twinge of resentment in its own deliciousness. A slight smirk crossed his face as he realised that she disliked him, and that because of her display of it he could easily control her. "Are you challenging me to answer you with a feeling of guilt? For I have none in me; I am most possibly the only creature in this forsaken world that cannot feel anything but loathing and disgust. But, I am sure that I am not the only being in this room that feels as such right now."

The plump woman who had summoned him fainted at his spiel, but the woman who had addressed him paid her no heed. "I have summoned you to this place to discuss—"

Keori choked. "Discuss?!" He burst into vicious laughter. "Do you actually believe that anything you say right now might affect me in any way?" His voice nearly shook as he attempted to conceal the dreaded emotion—and his hand was trembling with wanting to reach towards her and touch her smooth, milky skin.

She raised her hand to sweep back some ebony-coloured hair which had fallen in her eyes, and Keori studied her long, tapered fingers—no wonder she was a mage. Everything about her spoke magic, and he felt dizzy as he watched, as if he was underneath a spell … and, then he remembered he was not meant to have feelings such as these. The only emotions he could allow himself to express were anger, hatred and pure arrogance.

Love was out of the question.

She glared at him. "I don’t care whether it does or not. I will destroy your current plot in whatever way I need to. Sidhe shall not exact revenge upon anyone else!"

Keori narrowed his eyes at her. "What is your name, foolish girl? So that when the time comes to destroy you I shall not be at a loss for what to call you?"

"My name is Elanora Jovan, and even if I am killed all that survive shall know my name." She smirked at him. "But," she whispered, "even more will remember me when I destroy you."

Keori closed his eyes and meditated on her name for a moment, causing Elanora to raise her eyebrows at his reaction her words. How can I ever make her mine? he thought for a moment before an idea came to him. He smiled, and Elanora was even more puzzled. He planted the thought into her own mind, then opened his eyes and stared straight at her. "And how might you do that, Elanora? I am clearly the more powerful, since you needed another mage so to summon me … you would need an incantation of great magic even to destroy Sidhe Pasege." He watched the expression on her face change as she discovered his thought inside her own mind and saw as she tried to subdue herself.

Elanora straightened herself and stared icily at Keori, who wished that he might one day melt that gaze. "I shall find a way, Keori. You may have the most powerful magic in all the world, but I will defeat you." With this, she stirred the liquid in the bowl beneath Keori’s projection counter-clockwise and his image dissipated slowly.

She left the house of the fortune-teller and began the long walk to the Hall of Sorcery in Zarenn—even if her idea was plausible, she could never accomplish it herself. She wasn’t strong enough, as Keori had said … but, with the help of several other Chailan mages, Elanora had a chance of defeating him through her destruction. She only hoped she would never have to look upon his arrogant face again.

Whereas Keori himself, sitting atop Mt. Furyew, only had to close his eyes to find her face embedded in his retina—and her name, unfortunately, engraved upon his cold heart.


Out somewhere in the Lanian moors, two young people sat discussing a very serious matter—a matter of courtship. As one of them, a pretty girl no older than sixteen slapped the other, a tall, handsome man of noble blood and of the ‘right marrying age’ on the arm, tension came between them. He leaned towards her slowly; their lips brushed softly and moments later they were locked in a tight embrace. They broke apart, and he knelt down before her and asked her a question of some import, to which she responded with an excited screech before launching herself at him and covering him with light kisses. They both laughed as they rolled around in the grass with happiness, only stopping once to speak seriously before rushing back to the village nearby with joyful news.


A fortnight later, on the last night of the year of 209, a boy with brown hair and pale-green eyes sat in his father’s bedroom, weeping into his father’s blanket as King Radalph Lorran of Syriana left this world and passed into the next. He knew nothing of his future, only that he would be the King of all Arsinuae when he came of age, and that he wanted the girl he loved; a girl who at that moment sat shelling peas in the scullery to one day sit next to him in the throne room of that same castle—as his queen.

In Chail, three mages of indescribable power: Kernai Yrter, Iopry Gyrn and Taliia Hyren and a young mage of the third level of magic named Elanora Jovan, set out on a journey. They set out on the road to Lake Eomrra, near the city of Uision in the south of Chail, hoping to save all of Arsinuae with their actions.

In Fernan, Menilan, a festival was taking place. Not only to celebrate the New Year, but to celebrate something more: the engagement of Kessah Darvosten and Banudi Tream. Somewhere outside of their time revenge was plotted …

And, as dusk was upon the land of Arsinuae, three changed women and one utterly confused man were coming home.


Copyright 2000 M. Lees

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