Chapter 14: A Gathering and a Storm

By Tyler W Golec,
Fire on the Sand

Rylah had Hospin delivering a letter to Mr. Atwood, with Cyrah tracking Belragh in the Fae. She gave him instrunctions that would take him to this place, she wanted him to just do so occasionally till she returned.

She was delaying seeing him in person. Now she was preparing to fully enter the Fae. Keeping her mind strongly grasped on the Fae she drew three runes on the earth. They were they three spells she knew to weaken the barriers between the Fae and the Mortal. For one slit the throat of a mouse and let it die in the center of the rune. For her second she planted a pumpkin seed, for her last run she pricked her finger and offered a drop of her own blood. With her Fae connection each rune glowed with strength. Rylah Grabbed her pack and stepped over them into the Fae.

 

After just and hour in the Fae Rylah found herself watching her step in a marsh of mushrooms. They varied greatly in size. It was the small ones was she was watching out for. She had accidently stepped on two already. They released a noxious yellow gas. It had made her a bit dizzy and smelt of spoiled meals. She had been doing better avoiding them. She had begun to be able to distinguish its Fae energy from its surroundings.

A detection spell began to ring an alarm in her ears. She quickly ducked under a larger mushroom. She hid in time to watch two Faeries swiftly fly by her. She stepped out from behind the mushroom, took some dust from her pocket, and spoke in the Fae Language to it. It flared to life and a large roar of green Fae fire in front of Rylah. The faeries turned around feeling the fires energy.

They both looked at her perplexed. They approached, but they kept their distance. One had a set of moth’s wings, grey and blue steaked, the other had green skin and clear dragon fly wings.

“What are you?” The mothed winged one asked.

“You can call me a Fae Witch,” Rylah said. “First of my kind I guess.”

The green one laughed. “She looks more like Faery lunch to me.”

“You would eat another Faery?” The mothed winged one asked its friend.

“She is clearly not a Faery,” the other responded.

“She is not entirely a Faery,” The mothed winged one said.

“I was born a Faery,” Rylah said. “My father, Matthew, he somehow changed my body into a human’s.”

The two Faeries looked at each other.

“It could be possible,” the green one said.

“Well, what do we do with it now?” The mothed winged one said.

“I know Corteal,” Rylah said. “I need to warn him that Belragh’s in the Fae.”

The expressions on the two Faery turned more grave, “We know,” said the green one.

“We should take her to them,” said the mothed winged one.

They each grabbed one of her arms and they took off to quickly for Rylah to dispute it.

 

Marceline sat alone in her room. She’d moved her chair to the window and was watching the storm. After her talk with Malick there was little she could do but wait and watch, and she’d done enough watching. There were plenty of observers to allow her to rest. Rest to her was becoming more like restlessness. After what she had seen she didn’t want to do or hear about resting.

She left her room and hastily, finding herself soaked sitting on the docks. The waves lapped at her legs. The cold was the best cure she could think of.

“A horn shark will take you down and the world will be less one more beauty.” Marceline looked up to see Willian who reached out a hand to help her stand. She didn’t take his hand, Willian seemed undeterred, “The Lune’s cabins are far warmer.”

“Thanks, but I don’t think warmth is what I need right now,” Marceline said.

“I think it’s a certain type of warmth you need, and the Lune also has plenty of that.” Willian was charming. Even in the storm.

Marceline wasn’t as ignorant about the handsome sea captain as she had been when she was a child. “What in the Lune are you offering?” she asked.

“Rum, wine, whatever you prefer. We also gamble and throw knives. None of this will offend an Observer, will it?” He asked. She didn’t consider herself found of facial hair, but his mustache fit better on his face than most others.

“I’m sure at some point I will find something of offense,” She said keenly. “I also don’t doubt it would be enjoyable, but now – tonight – this isn’t a night of merriment.”

“It might be just the kind of night for merriment,” he said. “At the very least get your feet out of the water. A horn shark really could take you down this time of night. You know this too.”

“I’d be dead to quick to really care much about it,” she said as she pulled her legs from the water. Marcy finally took Willian’s offered hand and he helped her stand up.

“Second thoughts about not joining me and the crew tonight? You are like family to them, most of them have known you sense childhood. You would be safe,” Willian assured.

“I don’t doubt you Willian,” She said with a sweet smile. “But I’ve also known you since I was a child. I know how you can make your eyes glow when you want to get a young woman alone for a night.”

His cheeks flushed on command too perfectly to not be intentional. “I never…”

She laughed. “I like you Willian, always have.” They were closer now than they had been. “I need to be alone tonight though.”

“At least let me escort you home. Your soaked through, I’ve seen sailors less water drenched catch a chill in a warmer climate.”

She considered resisting him further but she wasn’t minding his company. “Sure, pretend to be a gentleman a little longer. It looks pretty good on you.”

Maia1

Rylah was thrown roughly into the hollowed out trunk of what must have been a monster of a tree. Her senses gathered around her. “Bless the Trinity,” she said reflexively. The wave of Fel energy hit her like the force it was. She stepped back and looked up at Belragh. She was probably close to three times Rylah’s height. She brought her infamous bladed spear’s edge close to Rylah’s neck. She had been faintly aware of closing in rapidly to Cryah, but this was not something she had expected. Nor was the radiation of Fel Energy that came from Belragh’s bladed spear

“Move your weapon away from her Demon,” Rylah heard a Faery command. This Faery had lavishly beautiful blue butterfly wings. “She also knows Corteal, He is a friend of mine.” Despite her elongated and predatory features, Rylah could not help but find her beautiful.

“I can take whatever I choose to take,” Belragh said. The aura of the blade’s Fell energy was beginning to scathe Rylan’s skin. It was also twisting things inside her. Deep things, and flooding them with Fel. Swiftly Belragh removed Weeper from Rylah’s throat and turned to fully address the Faery with the Blue Butterfly wings. “I will start killing Faeries right here if you resist me.”

“The Fae is not mine to promise We are but a few of the Faery,” The butterfly winged Faery said.

“Give in fully to the Felnether and we will complete your transformation,” Belragh said.

“We are Faery, we are neither of the nether nor the Felnether,” The Faery said firmly. “We are something younger than your ancient war, we have our own power.”

“Your power would have failed against Tarabel if the Observers hadn’t severed his connection to my father.”

“How is Disinner?” The Faery asked, “I can barely remember life as an Arae but I do remember him.”

“He is as powerful as ever,” Belragh said.

“What I remember of Disinner wasn’t that he was powerful,” The faery with the blue butterfly wings said. “I don’t believe he was more than moderate in power, at least as an Arae. He was kind though, not one who seeks to destroy a world to get back at the Trinity.”

“A world, yes. But, not this one,” Belragh said. “My father’s vengeance is aimed purely at Heaven. Unfortunately, he needs to pass through this one to reach Heaven.”

“Then why hasn’t he come?” The butterfly winged Faery asked.

“He will,” Belragh said. “And my mother. They will come out of Mount Dansu with a horde of creations of the Felnether. My little brother Nej, who came with me here, he isn’t even the worst of them.”

“Then why are you even speaking with me? And why doesn’t he just do this!?” The Faery lost her mild temper for a moment.

“It would drain him,” Belragh said. “I am here to lay anchors in the Faery. I will kill all the Faery who try to stop me. The Saetyr are all I’ll need.”

“So this is just a warning?” The Faery asked.

“My father wanted you to join his assault on Heaven.” Belragh flexed her leathery wings. “Think about it, and stay out of our way.” Belragh swiftly flew off.

“Disinner must be horrifying,” said one of the forgotten Moth winged Faery who had brought Belragh in. “To keep that thing in check.”

“Sophia,” The green Faery said. “Do you really remember Disinner?”

“Some,” Sophia said. “This little one though.” She fluttered down to Rylah. She was not as tall as Belragh, but she still dwarfed Rylah. “Let’s find Corteal and discover what interesting little things he’s been hiding.”

The three of them looked like they were about ready to take off, so Rylah spoke, “you’re just going to leave me here?”

“Faery never found her wings?” Sophia asked.

“My body is human,” Rylah said.

“Your body was originally Faery,” Sophia said. “The Fae is limitless. Take it and flood yourself with it!”

“Using the Fae- “Rylah was cut off.

“I didn’t say use,” Sophia said scolding. “Fill yourself!”

Rylah closed her eyes and tried. She could feel its endless power all around her. He body was a disruption to its flow. She sighed, her body relaxing, and the Fae flooded into her. Her eyes never opened but she could suddenly see… everything. Three-hundred-and-sixty-degree vision in four brand new fluttering eyes, and Sophia was no longer much taller than her.

Her ears were receiving information a sensitivity that was overwhelming. She could smell everything, and her tongue gained a sensitivity to even the tastes in the air.

Sophia was smiling. “It strains you, doesn’t it?” She said.

Rylah opened her normal eyes and felt a bead of perspiration roll down her face. Her clothes were all torn and should have been cool, but she was sweating from a sensory anxiety. She fell to her knees. She hated this. She couldn’t stand this. It was too much. She forced all the Fae out of her.

She lay, a soaked heap, in the remnants of what she had been wearing. Barely conscious she heard some of the Faeries parting discussion.

“So she is a Faery.”

“I don’t know.”

“Her mind isn’t ready yet.”

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