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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chapter 18: Others

Hadrese decided to walk to the palace. It was her childhood home. She had left it for a time a century earlier when she had joined with her Life Mate, Dorn and now she was returning, not to visit her Fathers, but as Queen.

Swallowing the shock of the passing of her Fathers and her Ascension, Hadrese walked up the familiar walk. Standing in the middle of the walkway was Twa, the Elemental who had voluntarily sworn himself to her service for as long as she lived. She was amused to see that he was wearing a royal blue cape and some fancy suit of clothing, she spied lace around the neck, before remembering to pay attention when around this Elf as he was slippery and wily.

"Good day to you Twa. How are you today?"

Bowing low, Twa swept his cape back and bowed gracefully at the waist, sweeping his Liege's hand into his and kissing the air above her knuckles. He stepped back and said, "I am well, my Queen, I thank you for asking after my health!"

Hadrese smirked at him and continued walking down the path. Uneasy, Twa followed a step behind his Queen. Keeping quiet was hard, but he had learned to go with his instincts and they were screaming for him to be silent.

Surprised that Twa wasn't chattering a mile a minute, Hadrese walked up the steps to the palace doors, which opened up by magic. She gasped in surprise. They had never opened automatically before, in fact, they had always been hard for her to push open as if telling her she didn't have a place here in her own home.

Shocked rippled through her soul as she stepped over the threshold. The palace was alive. How could that be? Pausing just inside of the doorway, Hadrese, glanced around. It looked the same as it had when she had last visited her Fathers, yet somehow not.

She felt a hand on her shoulder and jumped a little, glancing at Dorn she sighed. "I never thought I would be returning here so quickly. It's the same, yet different. “Can you feel it?"

Looking around the rooms, Dorn said, "I thought someone had opened the doors for us, but no one is here."

Glancing behind Dorn, Hadrese asked, "Did you open the door for me Twa?"

"I am ashamed to say, my Queen, that I did not," Twa looked so sad that Hadrese, laughed.

"If I thought for a minute you meant that sad look, I would actually be moved to feel sorry for you Twa, but we both know what a consummate actor you are."

Twa clutched his hands over his heart and bemoaned, "My Queen you wound me!"

Laughing and shaking her head Hadrese turned and led her family to their rooms. These rooms had been hers while she was a child and she wanted to use them again. "My Queen if I may say," Twa didn't pause, but continued, "You are no longer a child you are a ruler, you need to have different rooms."

"We will move to the royal apartments as soon as they are ready, I cannot move into them until some changes have been made. Until then we will live here."

Twa nodded and looked around the room. Flitting around the room Twa touch this and that covertly watching Hadrese and Dorn.

Sighing Hadrese quietly said, "Thank for your company this afternoon, Twa, however, I am retiring for the evening. Good night."

A beatific smile spread across Twa's face and he bowed and left the room. Hurrying down the hallway, Twa went to the previous sovereign's room. Looking around he realized Hadrese was right too many, living with too many overpowering memories was not right either.

The hair on the back of Twa's neck stood straight up. Spinning around, he saw a pale white being in front of him. Wrapping his magic around him, Twa demanded, "Who the Nine Hells are you? Better yet, what are you?"

"I am Hornpol of the Northern Gnomes. I am here with a message from the Council of High Rulers."

Twa stared at him. He had felt the Others presence, but he discounted that they were worth anything as they had never had contact with his Clans.

"I am Twa of the Elemental Elven Clan," staring back at the Gnome. "You are the reason the door opened by itself and that the palace feels alive."

Hornpol didn't bother to reply to the rhetorical statement. "I need to speak with King Borlan."

Twa drew himself up to his full stature, looking down his nose at the intruder, announced, "How dare you speak the name of He Who Is Gone."

Nodding his head at his error, Hornpol said, "I beg your forgiveness, I was not aware that you do not speak of Those Who Go Before."

Breathing deeply to get control of his magic, Twa let the air out of his lungs and nodded, but didn't speak for a moment.

Hadrese felt the Elements swirl around her. She realized that something was wrong with Twa and traced the magic to him. Using his eyes to look at what had almost made him loose control, she saw a being that she knew was not human.

Using Twa's mouth, she said, "I am Hadrese, Queen of the Elves. State your business and leave before my Elf looses all control!"

Hornpol glanced around wondering when had the Queen come into the room. He saw nothing. Uneasily, he glanced back at the Elf standing in front of him. "I am Hornpol of the Northern Gnomes. I bring a message from the Council of High Rulers."

"Speak the message," demanded Hadrese.

"The Council bids you to join the next session, which is on the eve of the next full moon. You will be teleported to the meeting spot by the High Ruler."

"Why have We not heard of this Council before and how dare they summon an Elf to their presence. Should I accept this invitation I will come when and if I please and not a moment before, do not presume to order Me about. Dismissed."

Hornpol withdrew a sphere from his pocket, pressing a button he waited. Suddenly, the High Ruler appeared beside him and a tall, lithe woman stood directly behind him, watchful, but still, a bodyguard.

Sighing Twa whispered to his Queen that she best appear. She left his mind and instantly appeared beside him.

Hadrese raised an eyebrow at the non-human creature in front of her, "You are in the Courts of the Queen of the Elves. Your messenger was rude and stepped high above his station. We do not interact with the Other races that have made this world their home. We do not answer to you or your High Council. Your messenger has made you persona non grata. I bid you good day."

Bowing at his waist, King Connlan eyed the young Queen, shocked that she had given him the same reason as her ancestor had many millennia before her. He felt Kira and Hornpol's shock that he would show deference to the Elven Queen.

Twa took in the meaning of his Queen’s comments amazed that the Elven Rulers had some interaction with the “Others.” He watched the faces of male and female when the male with the a regal bearing bowed. He whispered in Hadrese's mind, "This is the High King or Ruler. I believe the title is interchangeable."

"King Connlan welcome to the court of the Elves. You honor Us with your presence."

Again the feeling of deja vu crept up his spine. The Queen knew who he was and wondered just how much more she knew.

Smiling Hadrese said, "Please come and sit down for a spell."

Connlan sat on the gold satin chair, opposite of Hadrese, "What is the High Council?"

"It is the head of each ruling House of Other races. The Elves were invited many earth years ago to join, however your race decided to remain separate."

Hadrese didn't respond. She sifted through the memories that had been given to her at her Ascension. She saw that the Elves had been invited, but had refused because the Goddess of All Else gave offense.  She stared back at the High King Connlan as he stared at her. “Will the Goddess of All Else apologize for the offense given?”

Unbelievable! There was no way that this Queen would have known about that breach of etiquette. Aloud Connlan said, “She will.”

Twa whispered in Hadrese’s mind, “Accept if the Goddess of All Else apologizes.”

Hadrese said, “We will join your council on the day that the Goddess of All Else apologizes. We will join as full members of this council, not under anyone guidance or judgment. Furthermore, all the other council members will stay out of Elven business.”

“Wow,” Connlan thought to himself. He was blown away that the young Queen knew the entire problem and succinctly presented the exact same argument that her Ancestor had told him; out loud Connlan said, “Agreed.”

He vanished with his bodyguard; returning to his Palace and sat down in his chair and regarded the rest of the Council. “The Elves will join the Council when the Goddess of All Else apologizes for the offense given eleven centuries ago; furthermore, they will be equals falling under no ones domain. I have said that the Goddess will give apology and the Queen has said that on that day the Elves will join the Council.”

The Goddess of All Else froze and gasped, “How did this new ruler know of this predicament?”

All of the “Other” races that reside in the realm of magic here on Terra Firma have their secrets, we will allow the Elves theirs and this definitely falls under that purview; frankly how she knows isn’t important. I told you all those years ago to apologize now it’s no longer a request it’s an order and you will be banished from these chambers until you do so.”

Immediately magic swirled around the room and the Goddess of All Else was forcibly removed from the room. Connlan’s magic would know when the apology was given and allow the Goddess back into the chamber.

Looking at the other members of the council, he said, “The internal war the Light Elves fought against the Dark Elves have made them a power to contend with and they have earned their position on this Council. Anyone else disagrees please do so now.”


Copyrighted. September 2010 by Georgia Lee Jones. All rights reserved. Any copying of this information without the consent of the author is illegal and considered theft.