I wanted to post up something interesting today since I've been suffering from a severe lack of posting lately lol. So here's an excerpt featuring some of the background info of the world as featured in the story.
This is a draft copy and has been picked at to avoid some spoilers so not everything may fit together seamlessly in all ways. Please bear with this as it is not a full draft chapter but rather a post from the book with several key pieces added. This chapter has run a bit shorter then some of the previous ones which generally run around 5000 words, This one runs about 3000 currently in it's draft state and the included excerpt below runs about 1,700 words so it's a bit on the short side.
I hope that you'll find the excerpt interesting and it has been my mission these last few days to really fill in some backstory (Not that there was any shortage really) and add some additional depth before starting this chapter. It was a rough start trying to keep focused on keeping the story moving along while adding so much info. I didn't want to overwhelm the reader with a bunch of backstory so I found myself trying to strike a balance with it all. Keep the story moving along while giving you additional info.
So here is my Frankenstein/skeleton draft of the backstory chapter. I hope you enjoy!
A World Divided
Vex took his first tentative steps into the schoolhouse. The smell of chalk and paper clung to the air as he walked closer towards the front of the room. Lierya looked up from grading the tests of the day and let out a small sigh to see Vex timidly approaching her.
“Vex, I know you are eager to find answers…” Her voice trailed off a bit and Vex felt his heart slump within his chest. “It’s okay Headmistress, I was only wondering.” He knew she could see right through him but he felt sorry for making her go through the trouble, especially since it seemed like something bad must have happened. “Are you okay?” He asked as he took a few steps forward, noticing the tears that began to well up in her eyes.
“Yes, thank you Vex.” She stood from her table as Tirys and Reia entered the room, light pouring in from the outside as they walked though quickly receding as the doors shut behind them. Tirys and Lierya exchanged glances for a moment, something Vex picked up on but remained silent. Lierya was warm and kind to everyone she came across, including Vex, whom the others mocked for not having an affinity. The headmistress however, went out of her way to give Vex private schooling, and never treated him like anything other than a regular Fae. Vex saw the look of suspicion on Lierya’s face as Tirys walked calmly towards the fire and took a seat. Reia spoke up to break the silence that had fallen upon the room.
“Did you happen to…?” Vex decided to answer for her. “No, but it’s okay, doesn’t really matter.” Lierya called them to sit with a gentle wave of her hand. Vex sat close to the fire, his mind still questioning as to why an answer was so far beyond him. As if able to sense his thoughts, the headmistress spoke directly to him. “The stone is an interesting marvel, it has the ability to store memories within it. But only memories of the one who owns their own stone can call upon such things and cannot see the memories of others.”
Vex understood now why the stone could not have given him the answers he sought and nodded softly. He saw Tirys shift slightly to reach into his tunic and glance at a small stone riveted with glowing marks upon its surface. Tirys noticed Vex and slid it back into his pocket and shrugged before looking back to the headmistress.
“Today is the last cycle of teaching I am going to be a part of, After communing with the stone I feel that now is a good time for me to begin my own journey, I have spoken with Reia and am leaving her in charge of this schoolhouse in my stead.” Vex felt a rush of disbelief at the declaration and deep inside of himself felt that he was the cause of her departure. “I feel that the timing is right and that the school will be left in good hands.” Reia nodded silently and stood up, walking over to the headmistress and wrapping her in a tight embrace.
“Thank you, but this cycle is not over and I have much to discuss with you all today.” Reia, holding back tears of her own smiled, nodded, and returned to her seat. Lierya smiled and closed her eyes, as if pulling up images within her mind to help her find the topics that she wanted to use. “Today I wanted to teach you a bit about our past, and just how different this world used to be.”
“ Long ago, this land was much bigger and we were united by a beautiful and loving queen. Also during this time our sun would set at the end of a cycle, falling beyond the earth while darkness covered our lands while we slept in our beds. To look up into the sky during these times one could see the lights of thousands of worlds far beyond our own, and to wish on one was said to grant you your wildest desires.”
Vex held back the urge to interrupt the headmistress with any useless questions the image that came to mind brought. He tried his hardest to image the sky, the worlds, and the darkness that fell upon the world but couldn’t.
“Cycles would come and go and the world moved on, seasons changed and with the coming of the winter months where the world would fall into a land of snow and ice, we would sleep, returning to the ether of the world, waiting until the spring came and our cycles continued.”
Vex raised his hand and when Lierya looked at him he couldn’t help but to ask. “What do you mean, Ether of the world?”
She thought for a moment before answering. “A substance we call ether runs through the very core of this planet, it gives life to everything and everyone that lives upon it. When it is our turn to rest, our souls return to the ether to await the coming of the changing season. Now we know it as the place we return when we leave this world behind.“
Lierya looked towards Tirys who said nothing but seemed to know much of this already.
“But that is jumping ahead a bit now isn’t it? In any case our world was once a part of a great cycle that existed since the beginning of our planet itself. Our Queen, Titania and her husband, Oberon, led our lands in peace and tranquility during the summer’s reign, when winter came and we returned to the ether it is said that Queen Mab would take her place upon the throne. I cannot personally tell you much about the queen other then what I have heard from stories but it is said that she was rarely seen in public but on rare occasions those who were lucky enough to meet her explained that she appeared draped in many robes and that her face remained hidden behind a copper mask that hid her features from the world.”
Tirys pulled himself to his feet and began to pace around the room. “The queen was a ruler of nothing! She was a monster that destroyed everything and everyone in her way!” Tirys shouted, his features contorted with anger and his eyes swimming through memories that no one in that room could even begin to imagine.
Lierya looked up towards him and spoke very calmly in an attempt to level his emotions out. “Spoken like a man with firsthand experience. I know only stories of her thus I would be interested in hearing what you have to say young man whose name I have not had the privilege.” Tirys stopped pacing and looked over to her, his body shaking and fists clenched. “My apologies for the outburst, but my story is not one worth sharing at this time.” He bowed his head slightly in a show of respect and returned to his seat.
Lierya watched him for a moment before continuing. “Perhaps to touch on what this young man has said, Peace as we knew it was only to last so long, Bonds began to strain and Titania was said to have sent Oberon on a quest to visit with the clans and arrange talks of peace but with winter coming soon the talks fell short as we prepared for a coming war.”
Tirys cocked his head to the side, obviously not aware of this portion of the story. Reia raised her hand up and proceeded to ask her question. “I’ve never heard of this war before now… Was this the cause of our current situation?”
Lierya smiled and shrugged her shoulders. “I wish I knew the answer to that myself honestly, It is said that the cause was from a flash of light in the night sky just weeks before the coming of winter and with it came vile monsters the like of which had never been seen before. Queen Titania drew her forces as the monsters began to attack the Elven clans and rushed to assist them against the beasts in an act of goodwill and mercy.”
She paused as if something had just struck her. Her lips grew tight and she closed her eyes in an attempt to stay focused. Then she spoke, the sound of her voice tinged with sadness and held back tears.
“M..My twin sister left to fight against those monsters. We were supposed to meet up before the last sun of summer had set behind the valley… But she never came back. And as winter enveloped me I kept hoping to see her face before my eyes closed to rest.”
Lierya coughed to clear her throat and stood abruptly. “When I came to, the world was changed. Half of it still existed as a winter night while this half was basked in summer’s gaze. I do not know what happened during my rest, but this is not the world I left. I have traveled to the other side but found only thorns of glass and ebony separating the day from the night. Our time has been frozen, the cycle has stopped, and our loved ones…. They are gone to us.”
“This is why I am leaving, I am going to try to find a way to the palace, to find what has happened and to find my sister may she still draw breath. I can feel her in my heart, I have to know what has become of her.”
Tirys cocked his head to the side. “Why now? I don’t mean to be rude but why have you been here all this time if a loved one could be in danger?” Lierya turned her head slightly as a tear slid from the corner of her eye and down her cheek.
“The stone has an interesting ability; we used them to store our memories before we returned to the ether so that we could call upon them once we returned… But I had learned that we could also use them to store harsh memories away. At the time I felt so lost that I couldn’t handle what was happening. I feel that now I am at a point that I can accept it. If… If it’s truly too late and she is gone, well, that’s a road I’ll have to cross if I come to it.”
Tirys lowered his head in understanding. “I’m sorry, I misjudged you Headmistress. I wish you well on your journey.” Lierya met his eyes and glanced to Reia, As to you, young Tirys.
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