King Linvanu Khezriel has been leader of the Cayheri for over three hundred years and was now contemplating giving all that up to go back to his beloved Galna Alari. For over three hundred years he did his best to be loyal to his people and their goddess, Qalmini. But for over three hundred years, he secretly dreamed of returning to Galna Alari and the end of their exile. And now the return to Galna Alari was within reach, however, it would mean he’d have to turn his back on many of the Cayheri, Qalmini, and fight those he thought were his loyal and trusted advisers.
Finding out his high priestess, sorceress, and druid had all had a hand in poisoning, kidnapping, and holding his best friend captive….torturing him for almost one hundred years nearly broke him. He had ordered all of them arrested and killed, but by the time he found out, they were gone. Over the last few days, after his orders made its way through Mathvenaes, Cayheri were leaving by the hundreds. Riots were breaking out, people were being killed if they remained loyal to him and stayed behind. He had lost total control over his people and he was at a total loss because he had no idea who he could trust. It was bad enough he and the guards who remained loyal were in hiding with the other loyal Cayheri. He only hoped that Khilseith or Queen Liliana came through for them. The hope for help wasn’t even for him. He just wanted his people safe. If he died saving even just some of them, he would at least know he did all he could for them and would die knowing they went back home.
A loud voice, dripping with sarcasm as he says the word archmage, startles Khilseith. Jumping up, he stumbles, head spinning as he lands on hands and knees in the dirt. He instinctively jumps again, this time backwards towards the cot he was just laying on. He sits still for a moment with his eyes closed as he tries to clear his head then slowly opens them and takes in his surroundings.
He is in a small dungeon cell, in a cave, from what he gathered by the looks of the walls that surrounded him. The front of the cell was the only thing that was metal bars. He sits on a small cot with only a dirty pillow and a rag for a blanket. The floor was dirt and rocks. He is dressed in plain brown ragged pants, a plain gray tunic with a twine rope for a belt, and he’s barefoot. Seeing his feet bare and covered in dirt, he instantly snatches them up on the cot and waves his hand but nothing happens. He shakes his head again and waves his hand again. Again, nothing. He feels no surge of magickal power, no tingling, just, nothing.
“What is going on!” He stands up roaring at the voice, then sits back down with his feet up on the cot. He realizes the bed is dirty as well but in his brain it’s better than the dirt on the floor. He hugs his knees to him trying to make sense of what was happening.
The voice laughs and steps closer to the bars so Khilseith can see his captor.
“Can the great Archmage Khilseith Olastra not figure out what’s going on? Man, that poison must have been stronger than I thought!”
Standing in front of him is an elf he recognizes as one of his house staff.
“YOU! You cretin! How dare you poison and kidnap me! The council shall hear about this!”
The elf throws his head back and laughs as he shifts into a dark elf.
“Oh no Archmage. No one will even know you’re gone.”
Khilseith’s eyes widen and a few tears roll down his face as the realization hits him. He was never going to see his beloved family again. He didn’t even have his magic to comfort him. No longer the great and powerful Khilseith that made young peasant children run screaming when they saw him.
“You may as well just kill me then. I am of no use anymore. Not like this.” He laid down on the cot, turning to face the cavern wall.
The elf laughs.
“Oh I am not done with you yet. Our fun together has just started Khilseith. And I am going to enjoy each and every little torturous thing I do to you. I’m looking forward to many many years together. You are so much more useful alive than dead, so get used to your new home and the peasant life.”
The elf opens the door long enough to throw a bowl of slop in it onto the floor, closes and locks it, and walks away laughing maniacally.
“WHAT IS GOING ON OUT THERE?”
He looks out the window to see what is going on as the carriage has come to a stop and sees that his guards are battling with Cayheri and the carriage is surrounded by what he assumes to be Cayheri rangers as they all have bows cocked and his way. He throws the door open and as he steps out, vines rise up out of the ground, slithering up his legs and tightly winding around his torso, attaching his arms to his sides and encasing his hands.
“What is the meaning of this! Do you know who I am!?”
“We are well aware of who you are Khilseith Olastra, elder of Galna Alari, and Archmage.”
Khilseith turns his head to see who is speaking. Standing near him is a Cayheri man dressed in dark leather and furs, his long white hair in braids, and holding a tall black staff decorated with bones and feathers.
“How DARE you treat an envoy of Queen Liliana Mordov, not to mention a mage of my standing! Release me at once!”
“Oh no Archmage. We will not be releasing you. Not until I cast something to ensure you won’t be using any of that power on us or our king.”
He taps his staff on the ground and starts chanting, his words form symbols in the air surrounding the archmage. He steps closer to Khilseith, opens his hand, and blows a small cloud of dirt on to Khilseith. He smirks as Khilseith’s eyes turn darker and darker blue as he gets more and more angry at this treatment. Khilseith shudders at the fact that he is now dirty on top of being bound, and that bothers him more. His eyes roll back as the other elf’s spell takes hold. The druid snaps his fingers, making the vines release Khilseith. The archmage shakes his arms, tries to calm himself and focus, then opens his eyes and snaps his left hand. Nothing happens except a spray of glitter flying out of his fingers.
“HOW….WHAT….!” Khilseith stammers in his anger and disgust. “Your king will hear about this cur!”
The man cackles. “Oh I am sure he will, but I answer to someone much higher than both of you. And you do not wish to go up against him, Lord Olastra.” He bows then disappears in a puff of smoke, along with all of the rangers that had been circling the carriage. The soldiers that were still standing and had been fighting with Khilseith’s guards ran off into the woods and disappeared.
Khilseith stands there sputtering, incensed. He couldn’t believe he had just been attacked and taken over by a grimy peasant! Looking around at the remaining guards, “Get back in formation and let’s get to that king. I want answers and someone’s head for this!”
Lily and her guards returned to the Sanctuary and as soon as she was inside, she sent a couple to send for her father. She waited in the throne room for him, sitting in the throne, letting the magic weave around her and calm her.
Theren entered the throne room and saluted her.
“My Queen, you summoned me?” His voice strained and cracked as he greeted her formally.
“Yes Father. I am your queen and it’s about time you remembered that. I just had a conversation with Mother. Seems whoever killed her made it where she cannot tell me who killed her but said YOU would know who I could talk to to cast a spell that will allow me to see what happened through her eyes.”
Theren’s eyes narrow as he listens to his daughter. Then he sighs. “Fine. I will help you with this, but only because it is my duty to do as my queen commands. And leave it to your mother, even in death, to remember this type of magick.”
He goes and gets a chair and sits at the bottom of the stairs that lead up to the throne. He rubs his face and Lily notices that he has aged some since the last time they saw each other, which was interesting as most elves do not show their age. Thinking about what they’d both been through lately, she realized that it really shouldn’t be surprising. She had been told that elves decided when and if they showed their age, as well as choosing when they left Vaedrathan and moved into the Spirit Fields. This thought made her wish she and her father weren’t fight. She’d already lost one parent while they were arguing, she didn’t want the same to happen with her father. She started to say something when Theren raised a hand.
“I’m sorry this is taking me so long to tell you. You must understand it is not easy and not something that I can freely talk about with just anyone. I have….a friend. An old colleague from ages ago when I was young and involved with my studies. This…friend chose to become what we call a lich. He chose to enter the realm of the dead before dying because he wasn’t done learning things and was curious as to what happens on the other side. He is the only person that knows how to do what you are wanting to do. I must tell you though,” he pauses and looks at her. “While this spell is not forbidden, it is frowned upon and is not talked about other than to warn young mages to stay away from it. There is no creature in the whole of the realm with a deeper understanding of death than Rien. He is one of the walking dead but you’d never know it. You have passed him many times when we’ve been in the city and when we buried your mother he was there. If you truly want to do this, you must go to the Royal Mausoleum and seek him out.”
Lily listens as her father gives her this information, tapping her fingers on the arm of the throne.
“Thank you for telling me this, Father. I shall seek this Rien out, do this spell, find out who killed mother and do whatever needs to be done. I hope you will stand with me when that happens. You may go.”
She waves her hand to dismiss him because as much as she didn’t want to end this conversation this way, now was not the time to get soft.
Theren stands and salutes her, puts the chair back where it belonged and headed to the doors.
“OH and Father? Mother wants you to contact her. Says she needs to talk to you about a few things,” Lily throws this information out to him, a smirk on her face as she knows what that conversation is going to be like for him.
As he leaves, she sees him hunch over and hears a heavy sigh before he walks out and closes the door.
Let me just throw this out there — I LOVE villains. Not all of them, but there are many that I LOVE to watch and root for. I was talking with a few friends and we’ve realized that even villains have best friends that help them pull shit off. I mean really…Gaston has Lefou… Yzma has Kronk…Maleficent has Diablo….Hades has Pain and Panic…the hyenas that followed Scar til they realized he screwed them over. But the point here is, there is always a sidekick or minions in movies and TV shows and our book villains shouldn’t be any different.
Even those that aren’t villains, but seem to be the outcast/looked at as bad person, have best friends that help them through everything, no matter what.
And thanks to an amazing friend of mine, I have worked out a bit of plot snafu I was stuck in!! Villains are a new thing for me to write, so I’ve been reaching out for help and I’m so thankful for everyone that has been giving suggestions and such.
Now I’m off to do a timeline so I can keep shit straight! Wish me luck and keep an eye out here as I’ll be posting more things as I move forward with A Royal’s Undoing as well as plotting/planning second book in series!!
I have been busy working/re-working parts of A Royal’s Undoing and adding new bits as stories and characters have a habit of changing as THEY see fit, whether the author likes it or not. We are here to write their stories, not force them to go where WE want them to go.
Now, those that have been around since the beginning, THINK they know who the bad guy is, and I can’t wait for them to read who it actually is! Villains are fun I’m learning, but a lot more complicated than heroes. With villains, not only do you need a backstory, but you (the author) have to understand WHY the villain is doing what they are doing and then convince your readers and make them hate your villain. I am having fun exploring writing really bad guys though, even though I never thought I would.
My word count sits at just a little bit above 40k so I am thinking I have about 20-30k more to go before the book will be done! I am so excited, but scared to death if I am going to be honest with you all, and I will always do that as honesty is a HUGE thing for me. I’ve written a couple short stories but this will be my very first full novel and I just can’t believe how close I am to being done, nor can I believe the amount of people I have that are excited to read it. I really hope that this book is everything everyone thinks it will be.
I will keep you all updated as I move closer and closer to those wonderful words THE END.
King Theodwin Elacerin, great grandfather to Khilseith Olastra, ruled Galna Alari from 1000-1577. The only reason he stopped ruling in 1577 was because he was poisoned that no one could find a cure for. As far as the Galnarians knew, he had only one child, a daughter. The king and most of Galna Alari would not accept a woman on the throne at that time and Khilseith was still a child, so King Elacerin appointed the son of his best friend and most trusted advisor to be his successor. As soon as he died, all the magic and power granted to the royal family from their goddess Galrena transferred to Othorion and his line.
Two years before he died, King Elacerin and the Elder Council decided to exile the Cayheri, the dark elf clan that had lived side by side with the Galnarians for eons in Galna Alari. To the public, it was simply because too many Galnarians had complained to the council that the Cayheri were thieves, murderers, etc. The truth was much more political. The King had an illegitimate son and a few that knew about it were threatening to release the information to the publish, which would cause a lot of issue for the king and his family.
The Cayheri High Priest, who was on the Elder Council to represent the Cayheri, was automatically made their king. A number of other Cayheri were very upset and angry at the High Priest for not standing up to the Galnarians and their accusations and so were even more upset when he was appointed their king.
The Cayheri made their new home in the deep underground caverns that are settled in the southeast corner of The Shadowed Highlands. High Priest Tebrak was lead to the caverns by the goddess Qalmini who rules over secrecy, darkness, shadows, and snakes. She promised them special abilities if they lived in her cavern city of Mathvenaes, revered all snakes, and worshiped her. Tebrak agreed and led his people into Mathvenaes.
When Linvanu Khezriel, Khilseith Olastra’s best friend, turned 100 years old (adult age for elves), he challenged Tebrak to a duel to the death. Linvanu, who was a skilled swordsman by this time, killed Tebrak swiftly and became the Cayehri’s king where he has reigned for the last 300 years. He is very loyal to Qalmini, and is a strong and benevolent ruler to those that follow his laws and remain loyal to him and their goddess.
Back in Galna Alari, King Othorion’s family have continued to rule. In the Summer of 1917, Queen Miara, Othorion’s granddaughter was brutally murdered and just like her grandfather, her murderer was never caught. Her daughter Talia refused to take her place as queen & her daughter Liliana was still a child so she was not able to rule yet. The Sacred Owl Throne of Galrena disappeared and Liliana’s betrothed Dmitirie Pettoris was orphaned when his parents were attacked and killed the same night as Miara. The elder council, fearing for Liliana and Dmitrie’s lives, had Talia take them through the portal to the human world and raise them until the time came for Liliana to take her place as rightful queen.
The first book starts in 2017 when Liliana is 130 years old.