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2007-01-16 08:16:50
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Civalya De Sairafaen

De of the Aquaeans of Jashnia, Heiress of Vxa



Author: [Sairafaen]
Characters included: Civalya De of Vxa and Atreyu the fish





I have just recently begun the novel... so please excuse how slow I am moving with this... the third chapter will be added soon. I have over half of the book finished now, but I have yet to finish the editing, so please be patient while I work to get the rest posted as soon as possible. Thank you!
And so, it begins...












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Introduction







   The story begins in a garden. This is no ordinary garden mind you. It consists of five fountains, placed in equal distances of each other, each representing an element. One pours soil and earth, and is surrounded by lush greens and the purest of sands. One swirls wind and is completely open to the outside breeze. One is ablaze with brilliant fire and is constantly being fed by an unknown source. One is shrouded in darkness, known by all as Void. The last, in the center, is water, and is the largest and most beautiful. It stands over twenty feet tall and gracefully swirls water into the air in patterns and designs that captivate all who happen to pass by it. One girl, in particular, sitting along the edge, seems especially entranced. She is a small child, a young elven girl, about nineteen years of age, and very Aquaean in appearance. She has long, flowing platinum hair, lavender eyes, and sun-darkened skin. Her clothes are damp from the splashing of the fountain, but she seems oblivious to it. She just continues to stare into the water, droplets glistening on her cheeks. She holds out her hand, and allows the water to flow between her slender fingers and drip off her fingertips. She smiles as she watches the frogs play among the lilypads, and the goldfish dart between the jets. An older elf steps in behind her, careful of the water, and states in a voice of the upmost respect, "Civalya De Sairafaen, it is time to ready for supper." The girl drops her head, and frowns, obviously saddened to leave her friends of the fountain, and rises to begin down the path that leads out of the garden. The elf follows. " I was sent by your mother, the Oraiya, with a message. She says your dreadful Titan uncle is here from New River Pheonix. He brings with him a gift. Do try to bring your manners with you. Your father will be pleased." The girl, suddenly forgetting her sorrow, breaks out into a run, leaving her mother's mentor far behind. The elf, shaking his head, smiles to himself, and continues his slow pace down the stone walkway toward the palace.

***



   The palace stood high above the garden. It's many tan colored towers jutted gracefully up into the air, and were made of pumice that had been smoothed by the gentle ocean breezes, salted by the spraying seawater. It was rough to touch in places where the marble had worn away, marble that had long ago been sailed into the port. Exotic birds flew from palm to palm along the coast, and their sweet melody could be heard from any point along the upper level of the island. The streets were filled with the hustle and bustle of the day, carts of this and that, and everything and anything your heart desired could be found there. Children could be found playing in the gardens of the Temple. The ports and docks were filled with ships, some for work and some for play. The lower levels contained the homes of the citizens, the taverns and the barracks of the soldiers. The citizens were all blessed with the natural ability to breathe underwater, and so, there were also the underwater caves, and the underwater tradesmen.
   
   After all of this beauty, and any you ask would agree, the palace was the most beautiful of it all. And standing there, at the top of the marble laid stair way, was an enormously tall, dark haired elf, kneeling with his arms outstretched. He was waiting for a young, dripping wet elf, who was bounding up the steps toward him.




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Chapter One
A Gift and a Legacy








   "Uncle Myeere!"

   Civalya bounced up the marble and pumice steps into his arms, wetting his loose fitting white shirt. He didn't mind, and he swooped her up into his arms and squeezed her tight. She was his favorite niece and he had no inhibitions about showing it. She looked nothing like him. His jet black hair, dark eyes and fair skin stood out against her long, flowing platinum hair. But neither seemed to notice, or perhaps even care about the difference.

    "Come child." He said, his resonant laughter echoing off of the thick walls. He kneeled, and looked into her eyes. "We have a few moments before we need to be anywhere, and I have something important to discuss with you." They walked, holding hands and swinging their arms, mumbling jokes to one another until they came to a balcony overlooking the entire south facing portion of the island (or rather, the portion that was facing south at that particular point in time). The floating island was beautiful from where they stood. Brightly colored birds flew in erratic patterns around palms that stood high along the beaches of the coast. Small buildings and streets bustled with the activities of the day. From the garden came laughter and the games of children. Civalya smiled. Myeere placed his hand on Civalya's shoulder and began, "During the war of the Titans, the Aquan Lords broke off a piece of the Pumacium Cliffs into the ocean, to save the Elves, as long as the pact that unified all Aquaeans and Elves be kept sacred. This Island, thus named Vxa, which in our language means freedom and liberty, represents the entirety of the Aquaean nation above the ocean. I tell you this because, even though you are still a child in your nation's eyes, you must understand what responsibility is going to be laid before you in your lifetime." Civalya rolled her eyes.

   "I know Uncle. I will be Oriaya one day. And I will rule the Aquaean Nation. All Aquaea, above and below. I understand what it is that is expected of me. But that doesn't mean I am happy about my father’s ideas about my betrothal." Her uncle looked at her with one eyebrow raised. "Betrothal? Aren't you a little young? I thought Aquaean royalty waited until at least the age of a centurion..." Civalya looked at her uncle for some kind of hope, "He's mentioned Oran. He thinks that if he makes negotiations early that he can decrease the dowry. Merfolk of Tearra Réhm are known for being easy to barter with if you hit them early, especially since Oran is already infatuated." Civalya made quote marks in the air with her fingers and Myeere laughed at her again. He knew that she was referring to the last Titan ball he had held. He had asked his sorcerers to prepare a large magickal transformation to allow the Réhman Merfolk to attend the dance and festivities on the Land of Horamont. Oran followed Civalya around the entire night, even into the girl’s restroom, of which merfolk apparently do not understand the concept. Myeere stopped laughing when he saw the serious look on Civalya's face.

   "Alright. I will try to discuss Oran with your father. But I make no guarantees. As far as my previous statement, I had a point to make. There is more to your life than you could possibly know my child. When you grow up, you will have more to be responsible for than just the Aquaean nation, you know. The whole world will be yours." Civalya looked up at him with a silly grin.

   "Will not."

   Her Uncle looked down on her, trying to remain serious. "Little Civvy, how little we know of the future, but how much of it we hold in our hands. You don't have the power, young one; you are the power. Energy is all around us, within us. We need only to call upon it, and it is there. You are so young still, I wish you could have been older for this talk, but there is so little time." Civalya looked up at him, very confused.

   "But Uncle, we are elves. We have nothing but time, do we not?"

   Her uncle sighed, " I cannot stay for supper, but I did come to bring you a gift. With that, he brought an amulet from his pocket and placed it in her hand. Then he pulled a bracelet off of his wrist and wrapped it around her waist. He strung the amulet onto the belt and rubbed the amulet three times. He whispered a word in Titan, and a bubble appeared in the air. Her uncle looked down at her and said, " Cast your create water spell inside the bubble for me..." Civalya creased her brow in confusion but did as she was told. When she was done with her druid spell, and the floating bubble was full of water, he pulled a bag from his pocket. Hiding it to the best of his ability, he opened it and tossed its contents into the bubble. Civalya was amazed.

   "A fish!" She said excitedly.

   "Yes. A very special, and very rare fish. He is a Ku-Kraelaya Fish. He has the power to augment his companion’s own abilities; to join with you. Since you have already been experimenting with druidic shapeshifting, I thought you'd have fun with him. Plus, a lonely De needs a companion. His name is Atreyu.”  He sparkled with every color of the rainbow. His eyes were the color of the deepest blue and he swayed as Civalya circled the bubble that encased him “What do you think of him?"

   Civalya was beaming. The fish was beautiful.. "Can I take him with me anywhere?" Now Myeere was beaming.

   "Yes. You can take him with you anywhere. Just be sure to change his water at least twice a day and let him swim in the ocean once in awhile. The salt is good for him. Take care my child. Who knows when we shall meet again..." With that, he turned on his heels and sped down the hall from which they came, waving behind him.

   "Wait!" Civalya yelled after him, but Myeere just continued on down the hall. Civalya wanted to run after him, but she looked at the bubble floating beside her, then after her uncle, then back at the bubble, and sighed. " I guess I don't have a choice, do I, Atreyu?" The fish shook it's head. Or at least, it looked like it shook its head. Civalya asked the question again, but the fish didn't move. Civalya sat on the edge of the balcony and decided she wasn't very hungry after all. She sat for awhile, and listened to the city die down, listened to the birds fill their nests, the streets empty, the garden quiet, and watched the sky darken. Her uncle's ship was readying for sail along the port and she knew she wouldn't see him for some time. She questioned whether she should run to him and beg him to stay for just one day, or take her with him, but she knew her father, the Oryar, wouldn't allow it. "Goodbye, Uncle" She said, under her breath.

***



   That night Civalya sat on her bed, dressed in her night clothes. She was having her hair brushed by one of her many mentors, and another was fussing with a large bowl, trying to fill it with water so that Atreyu would have a place to rest. Civalya's mother came into her bed chamber, quite flustered. "Civalya, that Uncle of yours, no manners at all. He enters a home and cannot pay his respects to the family who owns it. Hmph. And this is a man you look up to. What you see in him, I will never know. Of course, it must be that Titan blood in him. Your father has it too, no doubt. At least he can control it half the time..." Civalya rolled her eyes. Her mother took the brush from the mentor and took over roughly working the knots out of Civalya's hair. She continued to babble, but Civalya ignored her. Civalya adored her uncle and her father both, and did not know what they saw in her mother that had drawn either of them to like her. Civalya meerly put up with her mother for the sake of civility, and sometimes even that was trying on her patience.

   "Mother, I am not feeling well this night, may we save this talk for another time, I wish to retire early." Her mother looked at her warily, and stood, handing the brush off to a mentor and shrugged off her daughter, knowing full well by this time that this was a scam. She knew that even though two of her four daughters had easily become allies, Civalya would always and forever be ally to her father. She was too smart to be bought by silly things like jewelry and clothes. She was a druid and a water child. And, her father's daughter.

   After everyone had been shooed out of her room and the doors closed, Civalya slowly crept out of the covers. She rubbed her amulet, cast her spell, and lifted her beloved new friend into the bubble. They walked to her balcony and looked out over the city to the ocean. "Atreyu, I don't want to grow up. Uncle Myeere says that I'll have even more responsibility than Vxa and Aqaea. What do you think that means?" The fish moved a little, and looked directly at her. Atreyu decided to take the chance.

   "I think it means that you have a higher purpose than what everyone else here has planned for you." Civalya squealed and her eyes got wide with fear. She tried to run, but the bubble was held to her by the amulet and the fish unwillingly chased her around the room, over the bed, around the mirror, over the dressing table and into the bathing room door she slammed behind her. The bubble popped loudly. She slowly opened the door to find the fish flopping about on the floor. Fearing she might have made a mistake, she inched toward the fish, picked him up, and holding him as far away from her as possible, dropped him into his bowl on the table.

   "So......" Civalya paused, warily, "You can talk?" The fish was shaking a little from its ordeal, and you could tell from looking at it that it didn't want to talk anymore, even if the world was relying on its voice to save it. It took the risk, only because of what Myeere had told him. Myeere knew things that no one else did, and Civalya must be kept safe and in Atreyu's care. So, Atreyu took the chance, but this De owed him.

    "Yes, I can talk.... but please don't try to hurt me again... trust in your uncle, if not in me." His words made sense in Civalya and she relaxed. Atreyu sensed this, and so, he relaxed, even if just a little.

   "So, where are you from?" The fish smiled. Well, Civalya thought it was a smile. If a fish could smile, then, this fish smiled.

   "I don't know. The first I remember is waking up in a nursery with your Uncle. He has taken care of me since birth." Civalya smiled again at remembering her Uncle, then asked,

   "Did you make sense of what he said today? I didn't quite understand what he said about power, energy and such." The fish shook from side to side.

   "Not quite. I am young myself. I'm not familiar with the ways of this world. He did mention to me that books and libraries were a great source of information when you were uncertain of a particular answer. Maybe you might find what you are looking for there." Civalya thought about this for a moment. She wasn't allowed in her father's libraries yet. This fish might be on to something.

   "Maybe we could try that. We can try to talk to my tutor about entering the Great Library tomorrow. That might work. We'd need help though. My tutor comes four times a week. Tomorrow is one of those days. Hmmm..." Civalya looked as though she was thinking hard about something... and Atreyu didn't dare interrupt her. Finally... Civalya said, "We should make a list of everything we want to look up. That way, we'll know what to look for in the Great Library." Atreyu nodded and Civalya went to her desk and picked up a pad of paper and a quill. Their conversation lasted well into the night, and they fell asleep on the balcony, her arms entwined around the large glass bowl that held her precious new friend.

***



   The next morning, Civalya was glistening. Her smile went from ear to ear and her eyes sparkled with content. She skipped down the hall, her fish in his bubble, bouncing at her side. The were headed for her father, for she broke fast every morning in his chambers. She couldn't wait to tell him yesterday's news, even though the sun was barely into the sky. The bright reds and oranges streaked beautifully across the horizon and sent the most incredible rays into the mirrored and prismed halls.

   "Father! Father! Have you seen the morning? It's nothing short of perfect!"

   "And you are nothing short of blinding! My dear child, what has put you in such a mood?" Civalya smiled and walked into his room, slowing her pace. "Well, I haven't seen mother yet." Her father smiled, then caught himself. "You mustn't speak of the Oraiya, your mother in such ways. Come. We will dine as a family today. Leave your fish in your room. It will upset your mother." Civalya smirked, and then caught herself. "Alright father. As you wish." Civalya turned to leave, and then stopped herself and spun back around. "Father?"

   "Yes, De?"

   "Did Uncle Myeere speak with you?"

   "Yes he did, and no, it's isn't going to make a differance. You are a De, my love. With that comes obligations. If you wish to take your rightful place when you come of age then you better take all of the responsibilities that go along with that, including marraige. Now, to the Breakfast Hall. Go." Civalya turned down the hall, still skipping, but with a little less bounce than when she came in.

   Her mother, Leelani was there when she stepped inside, sneering. She had obviously already heard the news. Civalya hated gossip on the lips of her mother, and her sisters, Belle, Morgana, and Eonna were already giggling. If she hadn't missed supper the previous night, she would have happily missed breakfast, but unfortunately, her stomach was talking louder than her mother. Her brother, Sythin, was thankfully silent. Civalya ate quietly and left for class with her tutor, Milan.

   The tutor was old, almost six hundred, and usually needed a cain to assist him. His hair was white, and the color had almost completely left his eyes. Her teacher was late, as usual, but Civalya usually didn't mind. Today was the exception. Today had a purpose. Civalya wiggled in her study, with her list in front of her on the table. She studied it carefully. When Milan finally entered, he looked flustered, and a boy trailed him. Civalya's interest was peaked. "Civalya De Sairafaen, I am pleased to introduce to you Doni Dispil, son of your father's own Captain. He is my nephew, and I would like to have him join us in your studies, as long as you don’t mind, of course."

   Civalya stood, and, as was proper, said with a slight bow, "I am very pleased to share my studies with you today, feel free to sit and learn as my equal." She gave him one of her most flirtatious smiles, for truth be told, this was the most handsome boy she had ever seen, and her island was not by any means small. His hair was dark, and his eyes were the color of the clearest blue waters. The angles of his face were rigid and clean, and his lips full and plush. His body was that of a young boy, but Civalya could tell he would fill out like his father when he came of age. Civalya had to shake herself back into reality.

   "Milan?" Milan looked at her with an eyebrow raised. She was getting a lot of that these days. 

   "Yes, De?" Civalya answered, "I was wondering when I would be allowed to enter the Great Libraries. I have things I've been wanting to look into, and I know I could ask you about them, but I also know that my mother has set you with a strict curriculum." Milan shook his head.

   "I am very happy that you wish to further your education with the Great Libraries, but you must be twenty-five to enter. Your own Oryar's rules I'm afraid." He saw the light in her face leave a little and he was struck with something, for he did adore her just as much as everyone else on the island, "Well, I have an idea. You both study well with me today, and I'll cut class short and take you through the gardens." This got both the children studying equally hard and they found they enjoyed each others company immensely. Milan began with their Druid shapeshifting. "Okay, children, lets try the easiest shape for our druid kind. The wolf. You have one minute. Go." Civalya had it in less ten seconds, and then had to sit down and try not to laugh as Doni struggled. He always ended up with something in the wrong place. Civalya shifted back and rolled on the ground, laughing and holding her stomach. Doni's semi wolf-shaped head had ended up where his tail should've been. He immediately shifted back and tackled her, and the two sat giggling for minutes, despite Milan, who's greatest efforts were struggling to keep him from laughing himself. "Alright." Milan said, still trying to control his laughter. "I can see that this is going nowhere. Shall we retreat to the gardens?" The two children hopped up almost immediately and tried to walk slowly, in order to respectfully accommodate their elderly tutor. When they entered the gardens, they immediately lost him, and ran off into the flowers and brush. The only sign of them was the floating bubble, and even then, that was seen only once in awhile. The beautiful rainbow fish, seen darting in and out of the leaves, was eventually deposited into the water fountain. The children were not seen for the rest of the day.

   That night, Civalya went to bed, and dreamed of nothing but her new friends. A soldier's son, Doni was an odd boy, a rough boy. He didn't play the silly games her other female playmates had played. They had bored her. He was new, and exciting. She hoped that Milan brought him back tomorrow.


***




Civalya never saw her uncle again. He had disappeared into the horizon, never to be seen, or heard from again. Some would say that he knew that it was going to happen, and some would say that he didn't.  What he did leave behind him, was a legacy. A legacy, in the form of a nineteen year old, little elven girl.





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Chapter Two
Eighty Years Later...








   The sky continued to blacken, the winds blew, knocking over trees and signs, rain pounded and flooded the streets of Vxa. The upper level was completely deserted. Everyone had gone underground to the caves to wait out the storm. Civalya found it all extremely boring. The same games, the same politics, and the same books in the same libraries. Her only solace was in Atreyu. She found him in her secondary bed chamber, deep within the island, and flopped down onto the bed pouting and sighing loudly until he acknowledged her. "Yes Civalya, my De?" Civalya smiled, glad he had answered her.

   "I grow increasing bored of my confinements Atreyu. I propose an adventure. The guards have been speaking of a cave that is near here. I want to and go explore it. Please say we'll go." Civalya made her point by pushing out her bottom lip as far as possible, but Atreyu seemed un-phased by it.

   "My dear De, shall we go through this again? You know I'll follow you to the ends of Jashnia, but do you really want to sneak off into the deep again? Your father can only shield you from so much. Your father's announcement of the engagement was only three weeks ago and should you run off again, your mother and future husband shall not be pleased. It will prove you to be an improper wife as well as an improper Oraiya. "Civalya looked down at the floor, then rolled over onto her back and stared at the ceiling.

   "If only the storm would stop so that I could see the sky, I wouldn't feel so trapped. She looked over at her friend. "Trey, You would be disappointed if we went anyways, wouldn't you?" The fish just stared at her with pity in his eyes. He knew that there was no right answer to her question, so he kept silent, and with his mind sent her nothing but love and reassurance that everything would be okay. Suddenly, he had an idea.

   "Why don't we practice shifting? That would be fun. We could try to augment. We haven't been able to do it before. We could try now. You've nailed all of your level shifting abilities. Lets try, hm?" Civalya's spirits lifted, and for the rest of the hour, they spent their time running into each other, meditating, and giggling. Atreyu had his way of making Civalya happy in the worst and most boring of times.

***



   Covered in bruises but still laughing, Civalya put Atreyu in a bubble and they traveled down through the island into shops and taverns. Civalya stepped into one of her favorite taverns and sat down at a table in the corner. There was only one girl working, and she was leaning up against the bar, talking to the man behind it. She had long dark curly hair and clear blue eyes. The angles of her face were sharp and smooth. Noticing her immediately, the girl weaved as quickly as possible through the tables to Civalya and bowed. "Civalya De Sairafaen, Atreyu of the Vxa Court, I am delighted to serve you. Anything you want, Anything at all." Civalya smiled.

   "Lani, we have been in here every weekend for three years, and for three years I have considered us friends. Please, do not call me by my full title. De, if you must. My name is Civalya and I do believe a fine elven wine will suit us perfectly." Lani smiled, and instead of bowing again, she immediately turned on her heel and walked back to the bar. Civalya looked at Atreyu and whispered, "I think she does that on purpose, just to get a rise out of me."

   Atreyu whispered back, "I think she does it because she doesn't know what mood you are in, and doesn't want to be arrested."

   Civalya put her finger up to Atreyu's bubble and said with a smile, "I'll pop it.... I really will." Atreyu smiled again.

   "Go ahead. See who tells on you the next time you go to the deep." Civalya pretended to be hurt.

   "You wouldn't, and besides, I'll just say it was your idea. I am the De, after all." Lani brought the bottle of wine and two glasses and set them down on the table. The rest of the tavern was empty so she sat down with them as well. "Hello Lani. How is Doni?"

   Lani shook her head. "He's been down to the deep a couple of times now, with the other boys. You know my brother. He is always into mischief. Father threatened to kick him out but for the plunder from all of the shipwrecks he has brought back!" Civalya's eyes brightened but her mouth was held in a frown. "Uh oh, are you thinking about Doni, or sneaking out to the caves? .....Or both? Your father won't have it you know..... either one." Lani said, and held her breath. Atreyu said a sarcastic thank you, but all Lani could understand was the sound of bubbles coming from his mouth.

   The light went from Civalya's eyes. "You can't help who you love. The only fish I love is Atreyu. I want to marry Doni, and he doesn't want to be Oryar. My father doesn't want a low level soldier to be an Oryar either. It isn't fair. I want to swim into the caves and never come out. Atreyu thinks the way you do. I should just listen to everyone else and not my heart." Civalya swirled the wine in her glass, and then drank all of it down at once. Lani refilled it for her.

   "I know you love my brother and I know that he loves you too. But I also know that this cannot be. Civalya, my dear De, we both know what is coming, and we must face it. I know that I will forever be a barmaid. That is my life and I accept it. You know that you will one day rule all of Aquaea and the underwater nation. That is your destiny. You need to accept that. Both of us need to make sacrifices for the lives we must lead. We must be strong. You must accept what has been handed to you and say goodbye to what you cannot have. Look, Doni is going out again tonight. You need to get out so badly, meet him at the bottom gate. He'll protect you and you'll get to say goodbye. Don't get caught and be back before your mentors come to wake you in the morning. Remember, if you get caught it, was not my idea." She kissed Civalya on the cheek, as a sign of good faith, and went back to work cleaning tables and serving a group of rowdy young soldiers who had just burst through the door.

   Civalya took the bottle of wine and left with it, determined to wait for the rest of evening in her room, looking out her enchanted balcony into the ocean, watching the sea life swim by free of restraint. "I wish I was free." Civalya said, swallowing the last of the wine, straight from the bottle. She opened a cabinet, pulled another bottle of elven wine from it and popped the cork. Atreyu shook his head, happy to be back inside of the bowl, free from Civalya's swaying walk. Elven wine was, after all, very potent for such a young elf.

***



   Civalya awoke, and, upon realizing what time it was, scooped Atreyu up into a bubble, and left the balcony into the water. She shifted into a dolphin and swam as fast as she could to the deepest portion of the island. Atreyu, free from his bubble, followed at a leisurely pace. She saw Doni from a distance, pacing in the water, with his gear on his back. When she neared him, She called to him under the water, using the dolphin call she always used when she went to him in secret. He turned, and the smile he usually wore was absent from his face. He pushed off from lowest gate, down towards the depths. Civalya followed. She waited til they were a ways away from the island before she shifted back. They stopped, and Civalya sat on a boulder and let her legs float free with the current. Atreyu stayed a little ways away, trying not to listen in. Doni came to her, slowly, and put his hand under her chin, lifting her face to his. "You know this cannot be, my dear De." She was glad the ocean hid the tear that would have fallen from her cheek.

   "Why can't it be? I love you, and you love me. This storm is proof. The skies rage to prevent the wedding. Don't you see. We cannot say goodbye like this." More tears floated away, unseen. He kissed her, if only to stop him from hurting more. He loved her too, damn the gods. He pulled away, before they were caught out in the open. They had to find a more private place.

   "Come, I have to come back with something, or they will be suspicious." He took her by the hand. They swam on, and finally they came to a ship, obviously abandoned by its previous inhabitants. Doni held tight to Civalya's hand and entered, bringing Civalya in behind him. They traveled in and out, through the halls and into the bridge, but nothing was left behind. Doni looked at her. "This ship must have already been plundered. This is dangerous, we should leave." Civalya nodded in agreement and Atreyu followed close behind as they swam out into the ocean beyond. Near the starboard side of the boat, was the entrance of a cave. Doni spotted it first, and looked back to send a wink to Civalya. Atreyu wasn't happy about the cave. He didn't want to go in at all, but didn't want to be left behind either. They slowly made their way through the cave, Doni leading the way, holding onto Civalya's hand, tightly. They came to a semi-lighted cavern. Civalya looked at Atreyu and somehow Atreyu knew to stay at the entrance. Doni led her to a bed of soft weeds and laid her down, looking deep into her eyes. "This might be the last time we meet, tell me that you will accept my bed, Doni." Civalya looked up at him with a virgin's wonder, knowing that he didn't have the heart to say no to the woman that he loved.

   "What of your family's honor, Civalya, is this truly what you want?"

   She only smiled and said, "If it wasn't, would I have asked for it?" She brought him down upon her, kissed him, brought him into her. She knew there wasn't any way she would give him up, not even for a crown. Afterwards, they lay in each other's arms, blissfully happy, both forgetting each other's woes.

   "Come, lover, let's adventure on. We have treasure to seek." He floated above her, bereft of clothing, and she blushed and turned her head, pretending to cover her eyes. He grabbed her hands from her face, pulled her up and held onto her. "My love, tell me, should we just run away together, leave and never return?"

   Civalya's eyes sparkled, "Oh yes Doni, take me anywhere, I am yours." They both laughed, and he spun her around and around, then suddenly stopped. Civalya continued to giggle. "I'm so dizzy."

   "Shhhh. Did you hear that?" Civalya stopped and looked around.

   She whispered, "Hear what?"

   He shook his head, "Shhhhh." They listened a little longer, then began to redress. Slowly the giggling began again, and he grabbed her from behind and tickled her. She tried to fight him off and they ended up on the soft weeds again. He bent to kiss her, and, suddenly, he was lifted off of her. Civalya couldn't see anything though the mass of bubbles left in his wake. She felt Atreyu rush into her back. She felt him inside her, in her head. It was like they were the same person. Civalya suddenly felt stronger. She tried to fight it, tried to scream. "Doni!" She reached for him and grabbed ahold of his hand. She pulled with all of her strength. A tentacle wrapped around her waist and began to squeeze. The pain was excruciating. She could feel bones pop and muscles begin to tear. His hand slowly began to slip from hers. She called out to him and he let go. She put her hands to her waist and pulled at the gray mass to no avail. She looked up at Doni only to see another tentacle go for his neck. "Fight..... Doni..... Please...... !" Civalya was crying now. She didn't what to do. Doni tried to move, but he was too weakened by the first tentacle to make a quick maneuver. The tentacle caught him around the throat and squeezed, covering his face. Doni freed his left arm and pulled a knife from his belt. He began slashing furiously at the tentacle wrapped around his face and waist. Civalya could see him getting weaker, his actions slowing. "No! Doni! No..... Atreyu! Do.... something!" She felt something happening inside her. She felt her skin burning, she was on fire, but freezing at the same time. She shapeshifted into a large octopus, mimicking the one surrounding them. Then something else happened. She became even bigger. The tentacle around her quickly released. Her head split into six heads and her body became huge, pushing against the sides of the cavern. She breathed outward and spit ice from her mouths, freezing the monster and its tentacles, killing it instantly. She sucked in for a breath, only to suck in a mouth full of water. Everything went black, and she passed out.

***



   When Civalya woke, she was in her bed, surrounded by mentors, dabbing her forehead with rosewater, soaking her feet in epsom, and braiding her hair. Her father sat by her window staring out at the sky. Civalya, confused, sat up and rubbed her head, trying to rid herself of a headache. Shaking off her mentors, she looked at her father, and still rubbing her head, she coughed out, "What happened, father?" Her father looked to her from the window and smiled. He walked to her bed, trying not to run and pushed through the mentors, giving them leave from the room.

   "Civalya, my daughter, I was hoping you could tell me. Your fish came barreling into the caves acting a fool, and wouldn't leave until a soldier followed him down to the caves. There, they found you and a young elf. You were unconscious..."

   Civalya interrupted, "And Doni?" The Oryar frowned and paused for a few moments.

   "Dead, my young one." Civalya buried her face into the pillow and wept. "I know he was friend of yours. I'm sorry. Why were you in the caves? You should not have gone down unattended. This will be difficult to explain without the death of a soldier's son, let alone an injured De, you must tell me what happened.... oh, dear, stop crying, I'm sorry, forgive me, daughter...."Civalya was inconsolable. Her father tried for an hour to talk to her, but she only wept. She didn't not even notice the sunshine coming through her window.

   A knock came upon the door. The Oryar turned his head toward the door but his hand did not leave his daughter's shoulder. "Enter." A soldier stepped into the room and turned toward the king, embarrassed to have disturbed such a private matter.

   "Oryar Toran, I have a most urgent matter to discuss with you. I am afraid it cannot wait." The Oryar looked from the soldier to his daughter. He then leaned to kiss her head and whisper his condolences and a promise to return. He then regretfully left the room with the soldier.

   After some time, Civalya lifted her tear-stained face and looked towards Atreyu's bowl. He was there, looking towards her, pain written all over his face. "I know you aren't alright, so I won't you ask that, but, do you think you could lie to an old fish to make him feel better?" Civalya forced a smile.

   "You aren't that old." Civalya paused for a moment before speaking again. "What happened...was that, augmenting?" The fish nodded.

   "Yes. I do believe it was. Although, I don't believe what we became could breathe under water. I think that's why you passed out." Civalya nodded back, and paused once more before tipped her her head.

   "Thank you, Atreyu. Thank you for saving my life." The fish just looked back.

   "Your welcome, my De, your welcome." Civalya wiped the tears from her face and smiled. 

   "Atreyu?" Civalya laid back on her bed.

   "Yes, De?" Atreyu answered, anticipating her questions, knowing exactly what she was about to ask.

   "What was I, were we, back there, in the cave?" Atreyu thought a bit before he answered.

   "I do believe the term for the ice is Cryo, and the monster a Lernean Hydra." Civalya was confused.

   "How do you know these things? How did you know about the Hydra?" She shook her head and looked at Atreyu again, this time with anger. "You knew, didn't you, that there was something in the cavern, you didn't want to go in the first place. And the augmenting. You knew about that too. You knew exactly how to do it and you lied." Civalya rose, and slowly walked towards the balcony. She leaned over the edge and looked out into the sky. "The beauty of the sky defies my heart, Atreyu."

   Atreyu looked at her from inside and said, "Maybe it shines bright to tell you that you shouldn't lose hope, your Highness. Maybe Doni's spirit is telling you to stay here. That you have a purpose and Vxa needs you." Civalya spun around and looked at him with hate in her eyes, and then collapsed in a pile on the balcony floor.

   "I do not know what it tells me, but I do know that my father had an urgent message, and for it to interrupt us, it couldn't have been good. I must see to my father." Civalya stood and walked over to Atreyu and looked down at him. He looked back up at her.

   "My sweet De, you know that I would never put you or Doni in harm's way, ever. I loved him too. I only hid the augmentation from you because you were not yet ready for its power. You know my devotion to you is true. Please, understand that it was only for your protection, nothing more. I know you have suffered a terrible loss, and for this I am so very sorry. I will be more than willing to do anything that my De asks of me from this point foward. Now, let us go and see what has kept the Oryar." Civalya stepped towards her dresser and chose a light robe. She then threaded the amulet onto the belt and put Atreyu in his bubble.



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These are not done in the editing process, so if you notice any errors, I apologize.






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2006-02-26 [Sairafaen]: The next chapter is coming soon!

2006-02-26 [xido]: I think it is fine as is for public review, but you can always add in the next sections of content as you go... It will update regardless. Looks good so far.

2006-02-26 [xido]: Images courtesy of Elftown Graphics, of course.

2006-02-27 [Sairafaen]: Thank you Will, the ever thoughtful. You catch everything I miss!

2006-03-02 [awallflower]: Lovely, I'm looking forward to reading more.

2006-03-16 [Sairafaen]: Thanx! I guess I can give you extra priviledges!

2006-03-28 [Sairafaen]: I was thinking about changing the first shift to something less severe... but I am unsure whether I should... If I do stray from my notes from the original story line, I don't want to be too far off and throw off the rest of the story...

2006-03-28 [Sairafaen]: A Cryo Lernaen Hydra is a crazy for the first joined shift...

2006-03-28 [Sairafaen]: and the game that this is based off of is a D&D game that [xido] and I played 3-4years ago...

2006-03-28 [Sairafaen]: What do you think, [xido]?

2006-04-09 [xido]: crazy, but good so far. I will be uber-impressed when your complete first book is posted and ready for peer criticism and editing. ;)

2006-04-11 [Sairafaen]: I won't post the WHOLE book! That's craziness... I'm not sure I want people I don't know editing it, I would rather just leave this little tidbit up for now until I can have it edited for real.... I'm not entirely sure I want to post the entire book on a wiki... Why get it published and try to sell it if I'm already giving it away for free? After all, it isn't real information I'm keeping from ET, just fiction....

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