This is another one of those rough chapters I mentioned. I’m not sure that all of it fits here in the story, but for now we will pretend that it does. When I’ve had a chance to work on this story, I’ve been trying to figure out more of Cirvel’s back story. I have some very big questions that I need answers to.
And in working on that backstory, I started contemplating the twin story to this one, the one I split off from this one. I have a feeling that it somehow wraps around with Cirvel’s story too.
So many stories, so little time. (grin)
That being said, I’m going to spend some time writing something other than a blog, so I’m going to go get to it. Time to create.
Onesong is an epic fantasy story filled with action, adventure, and sword and sorcery. Chapter 34 is available for 1 week only! Then it will turn back into a pumpkin and a new chapter will appear!
Previously in Onesong: As a child, Rivic destroys not only his parents’ village, but also the village of his aunt and uncle, leaving only him and his twin sister, Nyree, alive. Alone, hungry, and wandering through the woods, the twins are found by a beast that swallows them whole. Ten years later (or so), the twins are hatched from a dragon egg. With each of them receiving special dragon powers, they are charged with saving the world from a terrible evil rising. Unsure of this new world, Nyree quickly becomes ill. Rivic finds help from a nearby tribe who takes them in. The healer, Ellonia, has been seeing Rivic in her dreams for years and knows that he is the one destined to save her people. Until Necroathelings from Gohaldinest arrive and kidnap his sister. Rivic leaves Ellonia behind in order to go to Gohaldinest and rescue his sister. Along the way, he meets a cahaster, a small, kittenish dragon, named Dragzel. Rivic meets Cirvel, the Lord of Gohaldinest, and makes a bargain to stay as an acolyte and continue the study of magic. Rivic conspires with two friends, Alityka and Lihn (Cirvel’s mistress), against Cirvel. Cirvel announces his intentions to promote Rivic to the status of dominus. What Rivic doesn’t expect is that the same ceremony that gives him the title of dominus also is a battle to see who becomes the Knight Captain. Rivic unexpectedly becomes the leader of the domini when he accidentally kills a boy, leaving him with guilt and more hatred toward Cirvel. As time passes, he begins to settle into the new life of being a dominus. When he once again meets up with Lihn and Alityka, Lihn teaches him how to access the Onesong, the energy that runs through everything. They also have acquired a genie lamp while Cirvel has been gone from Gohaldinest, which when they call forth the genie, she sends them to another time. Here they meet Galault, who is serving as Honor Guard for his father. Feeling the spell breaking and returning them to their own time, Alityka grabs onto Galault and drags him back to their time. Life continues on in Gohaldinest until Alityka is put in a match against Azote, a destructive, powerful, and primal demon. When Alityka wins, she also gains the title of dominus.
Onto the next chapter:
by Dawn Blair
Rivic used his position as Knight Captain to stay close to Alityka the next day. He didn’t know how long he’d be able to keep this up. As long as she remained bruised and injuried, he promised himself, he wouldn’t allow the Necroathelings to take her to The Playground; he would do whatever it took to keep them from harming her further. But he didn’t dare tell Alityka about his plans. Rather, he stayed close by to guard her and tried not to seem like he was hoovering.
After their evening meal, Dragzel came speeding up to them. He climbed up Alityka’s arm, his feet sliding against her red armor. She winced when he hit the wound on her shoulder. He muttered something like an apology as he slid behind her neck to get to the other shoulder. Dragzel looked to Rivic. “Cirvel is gone,” he announced.
“Where did he go?” Rivic asked.
“Don’t know. But if you ever wanted a time to get Lihn out of here, now would be good.”
Alityka looked from the cahaster to Rivic. “He’s probably right.”
“How?” he asked. “Where can we take her that Cirvel won’t be able to find her?”
“Not where,” Alityka answered with a grin. “When.”
Alityka seized his arm and pulled him into a storage room so they could speak without being overheard or seen. “I’ve been thinking a lot about this. Galault said that I traveled through time to speak to his father several times.”
“He also said you were always alone when you went on these visits.”
Her eyes brightened. “He did. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t take Lihn with me and leave her in another time.”
“All right. So we take her to another time when she will be safe. How will we know he still won’t find her?”
“We have to visit Galault again.”
“What if he won’t give us answers?” Rivic asked.
Dragzel breathed several sparks in Rivic’s direction. “Naysayer!”
“I’m just saying,” Rivic shot back as Alityka scolded the cahaster by snapping out his name.
“We won’t know unless we ask,” Alityka answered.
“All right. After evening practice, we’ll go visit Lihn,” Rivic conceded. He looked at Dragzel. “Go tell Lihn that we’ll be there. Have her get things ready. We won’t have much time.”
Dragzel jumped down off Aliytka and rushed to the door. He bolted down the hallway as soon as Alityka opened it for him.
He couldn’t help the feeling that something was about to go terribly wrong as he followed her out of the room, but he kept his thoughts to himself.
Glayth held them at practice for extra time that night. But the fact that Alityka seemed anxious didn’t help Rivic’s nerves any. When they finally got to leave, she practically ran for the tower.
Rivic reached the blue column at the top of the stairs after her, wondering why she just stood there stairing at the pictures, her mouth slightly agape. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Her room, ‘tis not listed here.”
“What do you mean?” He began to flip through the images in the column. She was right.
“How did Dragzel get back to her then?”
“We don’t know that he did.”
Rivic thought about the poor cahaster slinking around somewhere, sad and lonely, probably plotting his revenge against Cirvel for the separation. “We should go check the glass prison,” Rivic said. “Maybe Lihn is there.” Or at least Dragzel.
Alityka nodded, but her spirit had faded.
“We’ll get to her.” It was all Rivic could think of to say to her.
Alityka nodded half-heartedly. She remained silent while they walked to the room which held the glass prison.
Dragzel slunk from the shadows, his head downcast as he came toward them. Obviously he had held onto the same hope they had. When Alityka saw him, she dropped to her knees. The cahaster ran into her arms. Alityka pressed Dragzel against her face while she sobbed against him. He mewled too.
Rivic turned, not sure if he’d be able to contain his own emotions or not either. Before he reached the door, his mind tossed out a question to him: why did they feel as if they had already lost?
He pivoted quickly. “Alityka, get up. We must to this now.” He forced as much of a commanding tone into his voice as he could. “We might not be able to reach Lihn, but that doesn’t mean that Galault won’t be. He’s a drifter. He’ll be able to find the dimension where she’s being held.”
Dragzel raised his head off Alityka’s arm. “Unless Cirvel is already keeping her in a genie lamp. He could have taken her with him and that’s why the picture is gone from the column.”
“Were you with her before you came to see us this evening?”
Alityka leaned back on her heels and Dragzel climbed out of her arms to look at Rivic. “I was.”
She wiped the tears from her cheeks. “What are you thinking?”
“I’m thinking that Cirvel knew the cahaster was with Lihn and he would leave to let us know they were gone. He closed the door behind Dragzel, so to speak. He knows it’ll tear Lihn apart to worry about Dragzel. He also knows that Dragzel will be worried sick and will agree to anything in order to see Lihn again. Even being the container for a Necroatheling’s soul. Did you ever make the offer to Cirvel?”
Dragzel took a wary step closer to Rivic. “I did. But he didn’t seem so committed to it.”
“He didn’t?” Alityka questioned.
“He said he wasn’t certain that would be necessary with you,” Dragzel replied.
“What did he mean by that?” Rivic asked.
“I don’t know. He certainly didn’t explain it to me. No one ever explains things to cahasters.”
Ignoring the peeved sound in Dragzel’s voice, Rivic continued, “Cirvel doesn’t like to trust things will work out the way he wants them to. Nay, he likes assurances that people will do exactly what he wants them to do.”
“What do you think he’s up to then?” Alityka climbed to her feet and brushed off her legs. “You think separating Dragzel and Lihn is how Cirvel gets leverage to make them both do what he wants them do?”
“Aye,” Rivic responded. “I also think Cirvel planned this separation so we would also be devastated by it. We get to see how upset Dragzel is. He’s playing our emotions and knows we will naturally be worried about Lihn too, especially knowing that she’s pregnant. We’ve participated exactly as he wanted us to so far.”
“So what do we do?”
“We go to see Galault and we tell him everything we know about Lihn so that he can find her. Meanwhile, we have to pretend that we don’t even know she’s missing.”
“What about Dragzel? He can’t pretend that he doesn’t know. Cirvel wouldn’t believe it.”
“Nay, but he would believe Dragzel waiting to accost Cirvel the moment he returns. Dragzel makes himself at home in Lord Cirvel’s chambers.”
Dragzel grinned. “A little dragon sleeping in his sheets. Oh, he’ll love discovering that!” The cahaster rubbed his front paws together.
“Exactly,” Rivic said even as Alityka began to smile. “We refuse to let him position us exactly as he wants us.”
“We keep it on our terms,” Alityka said.
“Aye, our terms.”
Rivic turned toward the cahaster. “Keep guard for us, Dragzel.”
Alityka recited the spell and then they took a step forward together. They found themselves in the same hallway where they had first met Galault. They walked a bit and found the area of the castle they searched empty.
“’Tis like there is not a person here,” Rivic said.
Alityka nodded, the silence seeming to bring her disturbance too. “Where is he? Isn’t he supposed to be here keeping guard?”
“Unless we’re at a different point in time.”
“I refuse to believe that. The spell is always to take us to where we need to be.”
“Then let’s find what we need.”
Alityka chanted the spell the Galault had given them and opened up the away to the period of time where Galault lived. Together, they stepped through.
They found the castle quite and in the areas they searched of the castle, they found no one present. It seemed as if the castle had been abandonded.
“Do you think they deserted?” Rivic asked.
“Nay, but something feels off,” Alityka responded. She drew her sword.
“Do you even think that Galault is here any more? When we last saw him, he was heading to another dimension. Maybe we should have gotten the frame and tried to go through it, or call him, or whatever we needed to be doing.” Rivic knew that his worrying babble came from recalling Galault’s words about Rivic never being with Alityka when she went to see Galault’s father. Could his being here disrupt it so that it seemed as if no one were in the castle?
They came to a window which looked out toward a forest.
“That’s not good,” Alityka muttered. She turned away and grabbed Rivic’s arm.
He glanced out the window to try to see what she had been referring to. The ground lay littered with bodies and blood. “What happened?”
“Slaughter,” Alityka said, dragging him down the hallway. “There is nothing here for us now. We must find Galault.”
She teleported them back to the castle in Gohaldinest.
“The hour grows late,” he told her. “We should get back to the domini dormitory. If the Necroathelings came and found both of us gone, they might come searching for us. The magic still hangs heavy here.”
Alityka nodded. “We’ll go to Lihn’s library tomorrow night and see if we can contact Galault through the frame.”
“I hope we find him alive.”
“So do I,” Alityka said as they headed toward the stairs leading to the basement.
They had an unspoken code between them the next day. They had to train together, but without seeming like they had a secret between them or were anxious for the day to pass. Rivic glanced to Alityka several times, but she was never looking back at those moments. He tried to rein in the trepidation he felt, but swore that fighting it only deepened the sensation.
It wasn’t until after their evening meal that Alityka walked by his at the table and her steps slowed just enough that he wondered and the hesitation and glanced up. Her eyebrow gave a twitch as their eyes met. She continued out the door as Rivic got up, dumped the uneaten remains of his dinner, and met her out in the hallway.
“I thought this day would never end,” she said. She hurried down the corridor, forcing Rivic into longer steps, which only quickened hers until she was nearly running.
They went to Lihn’s library where they found Dragzel curled up on the pillow beneath the table. He opened one bright blue-green eye at them, but didn’t bother to lift his head. “About time you two show up,” he remarked.
“Didn’t know you’d be waiting for us,” Alityka said, bending down to pet the cahaster.
“I want milady Lihn back.”
“I know you do. Soon, Dragzel.”
The cahaster issued a sound which Rivic couldn’t tell if it was a sigh or a sob. He thought about what Cirvel had told him about pushing emotions aside to make the hard choices. Rivic practiced that now as turned toward the empty frame, pondering if he should remove it off the wall and place it on the table. He wasn’t certain how this was to work.
Alityka locked the door with a forceful spell.When she noticed Rivic staring at her, she shrugged and said, “I’ve been trying to find all sorts of things that might help us stay safe from Cirvel. Did you know that I found a note in one book that suggests that pieces of a gargax might be able to absorb magic?”
“Pieces of a gargax? How would you get pieces of them? Don’t they self-heal?”
“I don’t know,” she replied. “I just found the note.”
Notes could wait, especially if she’d found it in a long forgotten book. Their time to talk to Galault was short. “How do we make this work?” Rivic asked, pointing to the frame.
Alityka looked at him, fighting back the tears in her eyes. “I don’t know. You’re the one that knew he was a watcher of worlds. Don’t you know how to contact one?”
“I wish I had an idea. I don’t.”
Alityka went to the frame on the wall. “Galault, we need you. Please hear me.”
Rivic laughed. “You think that’s going to work. You just ask the frame to show him to you and it happens?”
“’Tis all I’ve got,” she replied. “I don’t know what else to do. Ever since you said he was a watcher of worlds, I’ve been trying to research that and I’ve come up with nothing. It’s like Cirvel doesn’t know what that is either.”
The surface of the wall encircled by the frame shimmered and Galault appeared. He smiled at Alityka.
“Why have you called me?” he asked. Though his words seemed irritated, the tone behind it spoke more of curiosity.
“Have you seen what happened at the castle?” Alityka asked Galault.
“I have. What my brother wrought was his undoing. I’m certain that everyone believes me dead now too.” Galault looked at Rivic. “The great line of Dominus Rivic comes to end. Fitting.”
“How so?” Rivic snapped.
“We had one purpose: to wait for the reincarnation of Rivic to return. That happened in my father’s time. Now we have no more reason for being.”
“Except to live and rule the land with benevolence.”
Galault shook his head. “That was never my charge and my brothers were incapable, one because of his cruelty and the other because he lived other dreams. I am certain you didn’t call me just to ask me what happened at the castle. Why summon me?”
“We need help,” Rivic said. “If you won’t tell us what we’re supposed to do or how events happen, maybe you will tell us how Alityka goes about recruting your father? Give us the start at least.”
Galault pulled out a chair from somewhere off to the side of the frame and sat down. He leaned over his legs, resting his elbows on his knees, but keeping his hands free so he could gesture with his hands. “So, my father first meets Alityka in the forest when he’s chasing what he thought were bandits. It actually turned out to be gargaxes. She says, ‘For you to not understand who you are, what you are becoming, that would be unfortunate.’ Then, she came to him later on in the catacombs and told him not to be afraid of his own demons.”
“That thing about being unfortunate, that’s what he said to me. I knew he was mocking me.” Alityka slid into a chair across from him. “Is that all I say to him? I appear and disappear?”
“Well, nay,” Galault said, as if curious as to why she was asking these questions, as if he were making himself perfectly clear.
“Nay? What more do I say? Why should he even listen to me or believe me?”
“Well, he just does. You were chanting the old rites.”
“Coom ra wialca do, sha belieka ne? Ha ne?” Galault’s voice faded out as he went along. “Oh, right, you haven’t created the religion for the Goddess yet?” He pointed at Rivic. “Well, you will and it’ll be great.”
“Goddess, did you say?” Alityka said. “Who is this Goddess?”
Shock filled Galault’s eyes. “Why you, of course.”
The mocking smile fell right off Alityka’s face. “Me?” She glanced over to Rivic as if he had any answers for her questions. With her natural beauty, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine Alityka as a goddess.
She let the surprise and curiosity fade quickly before she asked, “What makes the passing of two thousand cycles necessary before we take down Cirvel? Why aren’t we able to do it now?”
“I’m afraid that my father would be much better to answer that then I,” Galault answered.
“How do we get through two thousand cycles? I mean, surely none of us actually live that long. You’ve given us the time travel spell, but surely we just don’t pop in then.”
“Nay, you don’t.” Galault looked warily at the frame as if he were wondering if he needed to dive back into it. “I fear telling you too much. What if I mess something up?”
“What if you don’t tell us something that we need to know and it messes everything up?” Alityka said, obviously trying to use Galault’s own fear against him. Rivic had to turn away to keep his sly smiling from showing through.
But Galault had obviously thought this through too. “I’d rather take the chance of saying nothing. It might be different if I could know that everything was happening as in the stories that I know.”
Rivic could tell that Alityka’s next words were going to be sharp and he stepped up to Alityka to push her backwards. “Nice try,” he whispered, hoping it would soothe her. He doubted that it would. Then he turned back to Galault. “I’m sorry, Galault. We’ve been so focused on the future and what we need to do that we haven’t even asked you if there’s anything we can do for you.”
“I’m afraid that what I need is something that you couldn’t grant me even if you had another genie lamp.” He paused before he went on to explain, “I wish I could have seen my father’s greatest moments rather than hearing about them afterwards. So many people have told me about his exploits, but they all seemed unbelievable to me. I don’t know how he could do all that; it doesn’t seem like the same man I knew growing up.”
Alityka lit up with excitement. “How would you like to watch your father become the great man you knew him to be? How would you like to help him?”
“I don’t understand how that could happen.”
“You have a special ability.”
Sadness coiled over Galault’s face. “My father always treated me like I was special. He loved all his children, but there was something different in his eyes when he looked at me. He guarded me above the others.” Grief filled his young eyes. “I loved my father. I really don’t know what my life is going to be like without him. I don’t know how you think I can help, but if you say I will get more time to be with him, I will take it.”
“You’ll be his special guardian,” Alityka promised.
“Tell me what I have to do,” Galault said.
“You know his stories and you know what happens to him, what things he will need. You’ll get to watch him become the man you knew him to be. We will need to know his moves. We need you to be watching him from another dimension, guiding him and us.”
“Aye, guiding you. I think that should be all right.”
“Then we just have to find the right dimension for you, somewhere that Cirvel won’t discover you, but that you can watch from.”
Galault nodded. “I know just the place. I found it many cycles ago while looking for a place where I could be safe from my brother. I’ve been there exploring since we last spoke. I just never imagined that I’d be watching my father from there, but aye, I believe it will work. I’ll make sure. If not, I’ll keep looking for the right plane.” He opened up the dimensions within the frame once more. “Until our next meeting, I will be waiting.”