4, The Dragonkeep
Alyanah’s POV –
I stand there in the weapons court, surrounded by the many warriors that are assigned to protect my father. Not that he needs protection. I pick up a bow and sling the quiver over my shoulder. I nock an arrow and with practised ease, loose it and look on in admiration as it hits the bullseye.” You should know by now that you are the best marksman, sorry marks-woman, in the castle.” states a familiar voice. ” Ezra, would you like to duel?” I ask the man who is like a brother.
“As fun and challenging as that would be, I am here to take you to the study for your final lesson.” replies Ezra Shadowspire. I sigh. It’s time for my final lesson with my boring tutor. As if reading my thoughts, Ezra informs me that the lesson is not to be with the boring old scholar but with my father and in his private study no less. Ecstatic, I practically jump to the study and enter immediately. My breath hitches in my throat just as it did when I first snuck into the forbidden study.
I am seven again and I open the door to the study that has always intrigued me. I tiptoe inside and walk around until I come to a large bookshelf only to hear three voices. One is the deep, mystifying voice of my father, the second the endearing and calming voice of my mother but the third, most feminine one is unknown to me.” What do you mean that what I wish is impossible?” My father asks, the venom and anger in his tone obvious.” My son, I mean that you fractured the piece of your soul that resides in your body. Unless the shards of it are reunited, what you want will never happen. As much as I -” The voice says until it is interrupted by my mother who says. ” Silence mother- in -law, Da’renay is here. Come into the light my daughter.” With no choice, I step into view and see my father on a chair, his gaze is far away and I can tell he is in deep thought. My mother has an irritated expression on her face. ” You are forbidden from entering this place why are you here?” She snaps but before I can issue an explanation the owner of the third voice, a woman with burning amber eyes and platinum grey hair, speaks in my defence. ” She is merely a child, testing the barriers do not be angered by her actions Andromenda.” She then turns to me and says ” Child, will you not greet your grandmother?” revealing herself as my father’s mysterious mother. My mother’s parents are dead so I rush to hug the only grandparent I know.
My father’s voice snaps me back to the present.” Da’renay, come here.” My father orders. I walk to his voice and find him by a large desk. He motions for me to sit and after complying I tell him” I am no longer Da’renay Andromendasdaughter, I have chosen my Name of Self. I am Alyanah Elvenborn.” My father has a questioning look in his pupilless violet eyes about my choice of second name but does not push further. Instead he initiates the lesson.
“Today we are going to teach you about The Three Names, the origin of the universe and magic.” King Azrazel informs me. Before he can go further, I ask him what he meant when he said ‘we’. I am answered by a feminine voice that I have heard only once before.” He meant, Alyanah, that I will be part of this lesson too.” I turn and find myself looking into a pair of pupilless amber eyes, my Grandmother. My father gives up his seat to his mother, a sign of respect usually reserved for one higher in rank than you but the gesture surprises me as there is no higher than the king, not even his mother. He starts to talk.
” Every one is born with a name, given to them by their parents. It is called the Name of Birth. Like your brother Prophyx’s was Zelanteh Azrazelsson. Then at either the age of fifteen or twenty, you choose another name, the Name of Self, like yours is Alyanah Elvenborn . Finally some people discover the predestined name that perfectly describes them. The Name of Power, mine is Azrazel and your mother’s is Andromenda. You take on a Name of Self for two reasons, to signify adulthood and to protect against mind control.
The Name of Power is the source of your connection to magic, if someone can find it before you do, if they do not release you, then you are theirs to control.” The implications of the three names hits and I understand their importance.
My Grandmother begins to speak. “Do you know how the universe began?” She asks, rhetorically.
” In the beginning was nothing, the Void. And from the Void came a thought. This thought began to pull the Void together where it became the first of the entities- Chaos. And Chaos was alone for billions of years until she began to doubt herself. But confident in her power, she cast this doubt into the Void where it took on form, as Chaos did before it. When it was complete it became the second entity- Order, counter to Chaos. And so the two stayed for billions of years. But Order was lonely with only Chaos for company and so this part of him was sent into the Void. Like it’s predecessors, it gained form and became Life. Life started to create things from the Void, creatures like them but infinitely smaller. But Chaos wanted to destroy what Life had made and so Death was born. And where Life created, Death would destroy.”
Alyanah was shocked by the revelation of the unknown origin of the universe and began to doubt how her grandmother knew these things.
The woman continues the lesson by beginning the section on magic.” Chaos had children, the first three with mortals who chose their own path. The youngest sought to enjoy and so he travels and seeks pleasure. The middle child dedicated his life to knowledge and so he created a great library, it stands in a snowfield within a desert, bordered by rivers of lava. But the eldest child was the most important, his name was Arrigor and he studied magic and how it works. He was so powerful that he managed to connect magic with a language he created called Arrigoran.
After the first three, Chaos had three more children but with the other entities who took mortal form. The eldest was with Order, a girl who became the Entity Balance. The second was a boy with Life, his name was Braven .The youngest was with Death, who is your father, Azrazel”
My heritage shocks me and my grandmother, Chaos, disappears with an unearthly rush of wind. Getting down to business, my father lays three boxes on the table and asks me to choose one. At first I do not hear him and he repeats it so I look at them before I pick a triangular box. I open it and within it is a Dangeer, a triangular knife with a handle that juts out of one vertex. The other two are also opened and the smallest one contains a ring, signifying marriage. The circular one contains a crown, symbolising ruling. But I picked the Dangeer meaning I chose the path of the warrior.
I leave and am walking away with the Dangeer in my hand when Baron Richard approaches me. He pushes me against a wall and pins my blade under me so that I can’t attack. His hands begin to roam my body while he talks. “If only you had picked the ring, then you would be my pretty little *****. But it does not matter, I’ll just use you anyways.” His hand begins to grasp places best left untouched and eventually he holds my ass in his hand and prepares to relieve his wrath .Angered at his intentions and the actions he seeks to do , I bring my leg back and it connects with his knee, driving him backwards.
He laughs and states he likes it when ******* resist. Before he can move further, a throwing knife embeds itself in the wall near to his hand. With unnatural speed, my father is clutching the barons throat and says “You have insulted my family, I shall have your life for this.”
Before my father kills him, Baron Richard screams his demand for a trial by combat and my father agrees letting him go. I am escorted to my room and step into the awaiting bath. While bathing I think of today’s events the revelation of my heritage, the choosing of my future and my near rape at the hands of Baron Richard. Traumatised by the latter event I turn my mind to the future and think of events to come – my official Choosing of Name and Path and the combat between Baron Richard and my father….