The Roots of Evil
a chapter of Kipleyarren
Authored by April L. Gerard
She stared down the dimly lit stone hall with a half cocked smile as she slowly, almost gracefully, marched her way past her prisoners. There were now only 3 empty cells. How long it had taken her to get this far. The years of patient planning and focus. Her collection was more than most would have thought possible or have dared to acquire. The insatiable appetite she had for the capture of untamed magics was only one of the reasons she kept them. The other was her lust for power. Not necessarily the conventional type of power, but the raw effigy of power. The kind that needed to be born, shaped, and molded in its wielder's hand. Acquiring each of her possessions had not been easy. They were difficult, more so than a younger version of her would have tolerated. But she had long since learned the value of patience and self control. She thought back to the bedtime stories her grandmother had insisted were just that, mere stories. How little the old hag had known. A slow, deliberate smile crossed her face again. What would the hag have done had she known the truth of things?
Her thoughts wandered back to long ago. How far she had come, she thought. Far from what an aging Grandmother for a Queen could have possibly foreseen in one of her own. Wickedness came so easily to her, at her very fingertips she held more power than had been known to any of the previous leaders of the Fairie realm. Her grandmother, Queen Shalatah Cree, had been a well respected leader and taught her well the political forces within their domain. Shalatah must've known how different her granddaughter viewed things, the indifference she showed at times to others as she was growing up. And yet, she continued to believe her granddaughter would be the pride of the Cree heritage.
She lifted her hand up to wave a wisp of hair from her face. Her long blonde tresses sat atop her head in a delicate, intricate design. She was rather beautiful. A different sort of beauty than was usual for a fairie, but that she suspected had more to do with a hidden secret she possessed about herself than anything else. How blind the old hag had been about her late mother's outings. The woman continued walking slowly down the hall, thinking to herself , caressing the ornate neck piece that encased her throat declaring to all her station as present Queen and noting each prisoner as she walked by them.
She then let her hands caress the walls of her creation. The cells were each crafted in a well thought out plan. It had taken much effort to determine how to construct each one so that it would keep the magic that was inside of each creature she collected harnessed or at the very least, contained. From there she had them studied, to be controlled or to leech the magic from them. Much like she was doing with the one magic she had recently acquired. It seemed peculiar to her that out of all the creatures that she thought would be difficult to leech the magic out of and harness to her control, the human had not entered her mind. That is, until now that she had him.
Humans were regarded by all the races, including themselves, as having little to no magic at all. They lived such strange lives- craving all of the raw things most creatures do and yet absolutely powerless in obtaining them. Or, at least that was what most thought. The idea of capturing a human was not hers- it had been the lecohl's. Her unconditionally devoted and self appointed servant. To call him a slave would be wrong. But she did not consider him her equal either. She found him tolerable because he seemed to know where to find the things she craved. And this human the Lecohl had found was a bit of a marvel.
He created things, this human did. Crafted them out of his very mind. The Lecohl said the humans called this gift "Imagination". It wasn't taken very seriously by the humans in any case. They seemed to prefer boundaries of their own perceived realities. Some were even of the mindset that the other races were simply but an apparition, others were friendly enough but regarded the other races as being like themselves- just with fancier wrappings. Magic rarely entered in the forefront of their minds. It simply was not thought possible by the humans. "How wrong they were. Such imbeciles," She said aloud to herself, " What they don't know will surely hurt them..hehe." She mused with a smug, vain and overly confident smile.
What would the land do now that half the races were destroyed? All at the hands of an unmerciful child, for that's what she was when she found her calling all those years ago. The Carfens, the Marnanahs, and the Nubeins (New-bay-ins) were all now extinct, with the exception of those in her collection.
Her mood quickly went sour as she remembered the home she had personally set fire too. All the planning and hard work had nearly come undone that night. No fairie had ever been able to escape fire and yet her Lecohl had found the tracks of the boy and that of the old man's. How he had out maneuvered her was still a mystery and one that burned her with fury. No one ever got away from her once she set her mind to have them. The boy should have been rotting in his cell that had been crafted for him. And the old man would have had some usefulness. She had removed one of his wings after all. Imagine what she could have done had she been able to get her hands on the other one. The only gratification she got that night was watching the rest of the family wreath in pain and agony as the fire consumed them. She hadn't even bothered with the girl, who was clearly the boy's twin. She had just stared at her and let her scream.
She brought herself back to the present an stopped to watch the young man craft his work. She would have to put the Lecohl on him. She wanted that power in her hands. With that thought, she moved on.
She hurried a bit as she remembered why she had come this way in the first place. The Marnanahs had returned. She wanted to know what they had found in the outer lying land of the Leain fairies.
She had found that the Marnanahs could not refuse her bidding once she had set their own magic against them. That had been their weakness and that had been how she had decimated every last one of them. Except the four she had kept. It seemed that their powers didn't work unless they were in pairs. They had been one of the first to become her captives. In her youthful raids, she had discovered them. A small and already dying race, her efforts simply helped them along- encouraged by the fact that many in the land had never known that they even existed. The Marnanahs were the stuff that legends were made of; as much then as they were now and that suited her needs perfectly. They proved to be most useful when it came to garnering each piece of her collection. But they had come back empty handed this time. What could possibly have slipped by them so easily???