Chapter 1 - The Unicorn Queen, The Samurai & The Wizard
Chapter 2 - The Unicorn Queen: Ari's Origin
Chapter 3 - The Samurai: Eru's Origin
Chapter 5 - The Elven Trials
Chapter 6 - Hocirne's Return
The brutally battered, bloody and bruised bodies laid strewn all across the beach front. Ari was sickened at the sight of it. In the center stood, Kcin tall and blood with a wicked grin on his face as if to say "Here I am! Slaughterer of Elves, look at my masterpiece."
Eru was no help to Ari's sheer rage, she was beside herself with the scene and had crumbled to here knees. "You Distrosted MONSTER!!!" She shouted at the top of her lungs not caring who heard.
After a moment Eru piped up, her face lowered in defeat "How could you kill your own kind like this? With no remorse."
Then Kcin did the one thing that sealed his despicableness, he laughed. He began pacing, giving them sideward smirks while swaying his massive onyx sword about. "Do not presume to judge ME Eirumas! Or what was it they called you in the Old Tongue,-" His eyes darkened in victory, "Ah yes, 'KinSlayer' was it? The bloodied bodies of your fallen folk may be laid bare before you feet in the thousands! And all that at the behest of your Father? That's, that's where we discompare. You killed for your kingdom and your unworthy title holder of a father. Whereas, I, no I kill for myself."
Unheld tears streaked down Eru's cheeks now as she shook her head, Ari could tell that she did not believe his words, so kind was her heart to believe in the best of folk. She sighed deeply and asked, "What do you get out of this Monster?"
Annoyance flashed on Kcin's face for a moment and then it was gone, "Simple, I deliver unto the Queen of the North, that there Looking Glass and one, how did she put it? One Green Haired warrior princess. And I get a lifetime supply of Opium from her mines." His smile at the last words told her that this "Opium" was valuable to him.
Ari balled her fists in outrage, no one was taking Eru from her not as long as she held breath within her breast. She moved forward to charge when he appeared instantly before her and backhanded her to the ground, her whole body shook from the force of such a simple gesture on his part and her neck felt loose upon her head. "Do not dishonor yourself my thinking you have a chance fighting me woman. Eru was my only challenge today. It's why I sent her through the Trials. See the kicker, isn't the Mountain Troll you faced, it's what that idiotic place does to you afterward. Saps all your strength it does."
Eru was on her feet now, sheer rage reflected in her demeanor but the spell's toll could be seen on her skin, her once earthy glow no longer reigned true, a dull pale white now took its place. Kcin sensed this and snapped his fingers. Time literally began to slow all around them, even the ocean's powerful waves were halted in their beauty.
An old decrepit man appeared, unshrouded ever so slowly by a swirl of mist. His face held no emotion. He wore only a simple dark gray cloak with long nailed toes sticking out the bottom. Pure white hair draped across his head, flowing as if under water.
Ari tried to move, well anything at this point and nothing happened it was like her whole body not her own anymore and nothing worked as it should. She could tell Eru had this very same problem, except Eru seemed to be moving just a tiny little bit. She was reaching for her Katana! The one Ari had never seen her use no matter how dire the situation. The old man regarded her with a raised eyebrow, the furtherest extent of his expressions so far. Still, it seemed it would take Eru eons before she could do anything worthwhile.
Kcin looked down at Ari with a smirk of victory, "It would appear your escort has arrived your majesty. Meet Father Time."
Ari felt completely exhausted and defeated as she was forced to trail behind the old man. He walked with painstakingly slow movements, then again he did literally possess all the Time in the world. No matter how much she screamed, how much she struggle, nothing could stop the sight of Kcin leaving with Eru in golden chains, her beloved katana now thrown to the ground behind them. Thankfully the old man, who called himself Pilav by the way, had allowed her the solace of taking the katana with her.
Even though they seemed to be moving at a snails pace, before long she noticed that they had passed Thorumdawn's tavern, the very same tavern she'd met Eru. How had they traveled so far, so quickly?
"Time moves for no man but I you see, everything slows and flows, blows and tows where I wish it. Thus is you confusing on the distance covered." Was he reading her thoughts? He frowned.
"You are on a quest to free the one you love yet the love I just watched being taken from you is not the love you quest to free. Peculiar, very peculiar. Tell me spriteling, what does love mean to thee? For such things are a mere blink in mine eye. Seen it once, seen it a thrice, 'tis all the same. Ends with such brutal tragedy or such boisterous victory."
In that moment, with her personal time zone affected by Pilav's presence, Ari was caught completely unawares at his unexpected burst of conversation with her. "Love is all." That's it? That's all she could manage to say to the Father of Time?! Yet he nodded & stroked at the saggy and aged skin of his chinny chin chin, deep in thought.
"Where are you taking me? Why was I not taken to this Queen?" Ari began an internal dialogue not bothering with words anymore, seeing as he could read her mind and all.
"That queen is a mere mortal pawn. It would seem this self-proclaimed Toad King, mistook his value of you and wants to possess you once more-" Pilav winced at the outburst of Ari's thoughts. She was beyond furious now. Since when did that slimey tadpole possess her?
She calmed her thoughts enough, "Why not let me go then? What could the all-powerful father of time have to gain from bringing him what he desires?" A part of her cried out, this could be her one chance to see Hterag once more. But no, no she couldn't leave Eru at the mercy of that usurper of a Queen. She had to go back for her friend, her Sister.
Pilav sighed and palmed at his face, "I was there at the birth you know, of all things but before this, I existed too. Eons upon Eons of footfalls upon all realms, none have proven above or before me. So I invite you this; of what heed would you take to should a mere passingly of a breath had it asked you for a favor? This Toad King has me bound by unspeakable and ancient magic that I thought lost to the ages. Thusly you nor I have a choice in the matter."
All Ari could do, was pray, pray to all the Asoscia Gods in sincere, pleaded and bended-kneed requests.
Hocirne pushed through the air with annoyance in his wake, calling over his shoulder "-alls I'm saying Merly, next time you want to send me to alternate realms and spheres atleast remember to mention the toxic mud or dragon's nest we might stumble into!"
Merlin's laughed echoed through the air behind him, "Oh laddie, such is not within my power. Old Wizzie was that sole owner and now you as well."
"Mother toad, you drive me bonkers. Then let's be glad I'm leading this time, and no-" Hocirne was cut short when the appeared before an OLD man and his charge. And he thought Merly was old but this guy was seriously beyond imagination old. Ancient was a more profound word, how could anyone look this old? His charge appeared more clearly as if shrouded in mist before and Hocirne's breath caught.
"Ari!" He exclaimed. Ari opened her eyes in bewilderment and was almost toppled over as Hocirne barreled into her for a hug.
Catching himself, he backstepped and palmed at his now shaggier hair. "Heh, sorry about that. It's just been 400 years since I last saw you! Merly wasn't kidding about the time difference."
The overcasted clouds began to shift and he felt a tugging sensation in his gut, it emanated from the old man. Ari grabbed at his arm, "Please, please do not anger Pilav." Hocirne squinted down and now noticed misty chains attached from Ari to this Pilav, stretching through his belly explaining the cold pit that filled there. All that made him do was think of food, decadent, and mouth watering food.
Pilav raised an eyebrow, he thought the wrinkles in his face were going to crack at the strain. "What mysterious being are you? My presence seems naught but to make you hungry. Peculiar, very peculiar."
Hocirne rolled his eyes, "Yeah yeah I get that alot gramps. The name's Hocirne. Now may you please release my friend here so we can go fill my belly with aunty M's best homemade cafflewaffles."
Pilav began pacing, but so slowing he must have not moved an inch in ages. Hocirne tapped at his feet. "Hmm Ho'rin, familiar with this name Time has not been. Where reign thee?"
He got tired of this charade instantly, 400 years was a long long time and no amount of patience had been wasted so the thought of spending a second here irked every fiber of his being. He mentally shifted through Ari's memories of her time with Pilav seeing that the blasted Toad Kings hand had been played. He concentrated on the misty chains tethering Ari to Pilav, silently conjuring forth the Old words, the chains shattered as well misty chains could shatter he supposed.
Pilav moved then, so fast it appeared a blur. Red misty now flew out at Hocirne, hitting him square in the chest with the force of a boulder. He was thrown into a nearby tree demolishing it in his thrust.
|Art Credit: Tira Owl|
He got up, dusting the splinters of his newly washed wizard robes the princess of Amdala had made for him. Annoyance flashed and he chuckled, "You call that hit old man? A baby mountain troll hits better that you!" He thrust out a hand, no flashy sparks needed. Pilav was sent up into the air, while there, he swayed his hand hoping the old man would get vertigo and thrust back downing, sending Pilav hurtling to the ground so hard that it left a crater once the dust settled.
He grabbed Ari's hand and in a flash of lightning, the three of them stood in his now completely destroyed barn.
Ari touched at her nape, breathing heavily. "How, how in the seven pointed kingdoms did you do that!?"
But Hocirne couldn't think, he could breathe in fact when he saw Eru's katana. Her one, truly prized possession now on the back of Ari. "Don't....no...Don't tell me..." All the energy sucked out of him, the ground beneath him fell away and his knees landed soundly below an abyss.
She came over in hurried exclamations, "No, No! She's not dead Hocirne, she's not. She's just been taken by a vile dark elf named Kcin. To the Queen, the very same queen that ordered your mother's dea-"
What was left of the barn was completely leveled, destroyed with but a thought from Hocirne. He got up with murder ablaze in his oceanic eyes.
Thusly, we chose to name this forthcoming collection - The Zemjla Dosta Chronicles.
Zemlja Dosta means "The Land of Plenty" in Bosnian. Thanks Sumarie-chan :-)
Hope you enjoyed reading chapter 6!
Tune in next week for chapter 7 won't ya :-)
~Be Kind to One Another~ Ellen Degeneres