In the confines of Time and Space there is no detaining Force
Draive entered the stables, quickly and quietly, and closed the
hatched door behind him. The stench of manure and horse kind was heavy in
the air. The timber walls of the stable creaked and cracked as winds blew
through the city, making the dust from the lofts above sift and fall.
The boy, looking no older than fifteen, had curly dark hair and even
darker keen eyes. He wore a tunic of white, richly embroidered, a cloak of
black, a fine dagger at his side, and a simple knapsack slung over his
Draive went to the stall of his horse, a stallion of white named
Osofeld. He led the horse to the center of the room to be saddled. As he
plucked a suitable saddle from the wall, a voice spoke from the shadows.
'You, Draive son of Ecthelion, should not be here at this ungodly
hour,' it said, seemingly coming from every corner and cranny of the
stable. The boy drew his dagger and stood his back facing the door.
'Nor should you, who ever you may be,' said Draive, looking about the
dark room. 'Though, have you more right to be here than I?'
The voice seemed to chuckle.
'If you have more honor than a brigand, or none at all, show
yourself,' said Draive to the darkness.
'Show yourself!' he demanded.
There was a small sigh, a rustle of hay, and a young looking girl
jumped from the upper lofts to the floor. She had long dark hair (as
everyone on the island had), a green tunic, a cloak of gray, and an oaken
staff. She was a mage.
'You are hardly any fun,' she said.
'I should've known it to be you, Ele-Grie, daughter of the Duke,'
Draive sighed, sheathing his dagger. 'You and your childish games,' he
mumbled, almost to himself.
'There can be a difference between childish and fun, you know. I
guess being royalty isn't all that fun,' Ele-Grie mocked.
'I have no time for this,' Draive said, turning back to Osofeld and
'Going on another of your secret trips to the beach then?' she
inquired, as she leaned back against a pillar, and chewed at her nails.
'If you know about them then I could hardly call them secret,' he
'No matter, I'm going with you,' Ele said flatly.
Draive narrowed his eyes at the mage in annoyance.
'You are NOT going with me to the beach. The reason I go is to get
away from people. People like you,' he replied as he kept to his work.
Ele-Grie stood upright. 'Oh, please, Draive! It's the only reason I
came out here! You're older than I, and you are the prince, you can get
away with anything!' she cried.
'If you believe that, then you are mistaken. I can hardly get away
with anything- not that I do many foolish things,' he added. 'And it is
less noticeable with one person gone than two.'
Ele crossed her arms across her chest and stomped the ground
'Ele-Grie,' Draive sighed, 'you are almost ninety-eight, and you act
as though you were two. Being in the Mage's Tower has surely affected your
'And you being one hundred and twenty, but act two hundred is not the
same? Where is the fun in your life?' she said.
'I have my fun by going to the beach,' said the prince through
gritted teeth. 'Now leave.'
No matter how Draive pressed, it was in vain. Ele wanted to go.
She saddled her own horse, a gray mare named Branwen. They both
checked to see if they had enough provisions, then quietly rode through the
streets of Caeren, making their way to the shore.
They rode across the central plain, through the Mystic Wood, and over
the Wall Mountains. The sky turned from purple, to blue, to an orange-red
color on their short journey. They trotted over the last dune, coming to
the beach upon the arrival of sunrise.
Ele-Grie stared out to the water, set aflame by the rising sun, her
breath stopping in her chest.
'Never in all my years of living have I seen anything so beautiful,'
said she, a morning breeze catching their cloaks.
'I have seen this sight many times , though this is one of the more
magnificent ones,' Draive said, his eyes set to the horizon. 'Come, we
shall have our morning meal upon the dunes.'
They ate their breakfast atop the tallest dune on that side of the
island, named Mount Vircain, lounging on the cool sand.
Ele began gathering shells that had been washed up on the shore, and
waded out into the crystalline waters. Draive sat atop Mount Vircain,
smoking his clay pipe, and counting the fishing boats that slowly crept out
onto the water. Branwen and Osofeld were left to graze the sweet grass that
grew on the dunes.
The fishing boats began to disappear as dark clouds started to form
overhead. A storm was brewing. Draive decided it was time to return home.
The two of them had a quick luncheon before the winds of the oncoming storm
began to whip at their hair and cloaks, and throw blasts of sand at them.
Ele and Draive mounted their steeds when something caught the
attention of the prince.
'Do you smell that?' Draive queried.
'Smell what?' the mage inquired back.
'There is a scent. A scent of something that in all my years of
coming here I have never smelled before,' he explained, looking as far out
as he could see in the sand flurry.
'Whatever it is we have not the time to find the source, a storm is
coming. We must get back to the White City,' Ele said.
'No, a foreign smell is not a good smell,' Draive said before
venturing in the direction that he thought the peculiar smell to be coming
'Men,' was all Ele-Grie said before following her companion.
She rode through the gusts of sand, but could not see Draive. Ele
began to worry.
'Draive!' she called 'Draive, where are you?' Nothing answered but
the howling of the wind.
Ele drew up her hood to protect her eyes from the flying sand, though
she could see nothing but the head of Branwen.
The wind subsided and she saw not thirty paces from her the prince,
kneeling beside Osofeld, behind a small dune.
He looked to her and did not speak, but signaled for her to come with
a motion of his hands. She dismounted Branwen and took her staff from her
saddle, as another strong wind blew through the dells and hollows of the
dunes. Ele cowered against the onslaught of sand and ocean spray. She
waited for the wind to die down before crawling to Draive.
'List,' he said, pointing to, or over, the small dune.
A faint light came from just over the rise, and the smell had become
apparent, even to her. The sound of many deep, possibly intoxicated, voices
mingled with voices conversing, and laughing.
They both started to crawl up the dune to take a peek. A little ways
out on the water were anchored seven large boats, in a small inlet. On the
waters edge, atop dunes, and in little dells of the dunes many tents were
erected. They held flags that bore a fierce red dragon. Among the tents
many fires burned. In the center of all the tents was a great tent. It was
there that many of the voices came from.
'Those flags, the songs they sing, and-' Draive was saying before a
loud bang and a fierce light lit the whole of the beach interrupted him. It
was like lighting. The both of them covered their heads in fear, for they
had never heard such a noise. A cheer came from the men inside the tent,
and then they started to file out into the open, dancing with tankards in
their hands. These were strange men, for they had clothes, helms, and armor
of a foreign kind. Even their voices were odd.
'These are strange men,' said Ele, her voice quavering as she started
to crawl back down the dune. 'We should report this to Lord Ecthelion.'
'Wait,' Draive demanded, taking hold of her shoulder, 'I want to
watch for a moment.'
'No, Draive, we must go, before they-'
'You there!' a voice cut her short. Two men, two of the strange men,
strode toward them, spears pointed to them. 'Stand and announce yourself.'
The prince flew to his feet, drawing his dagger. Ele-Grie stood,
holding her staff in a defensive position.
'I am Draive, son of Lord Ecthelion, heir to the throne of
Cirthiren,' he said, keeping a wary eye to their spears. 'Who are you, and
what business have you here?'
The two men did not lower their weapons.
'You are native to this land?' they queried, not answering Draive's
'Yes,' Ele replied.
'We are soldiers of Lord Hirthgar, and we have come to explore this
part of the world,' said one of them.
'You will need to come with us,' added the other.
'I will not,' said Draive defiantly.
'Young man, I wish not to hurt you,' said one of them.
'I am prince of the Immortals, you will not touch me,' the boy spat.
'Immortals?' laughed one of them. 'There are no such people.' Draive
looked to Ele-Grie, who still stood rigid, ready to attack. She seemed to
know very well what was going on.
'So you have come, just as is foretold. You are the mortals,' said
she looking them over with disgust.
The prince knew not of what she spoke.
'Whatever folly you speak of, you need to come with us. Our lord will
speak with you,' one of them said, taking a step toward the girl. She
compulsively swung her staff, planting it in his stomach. The soldier
doubled over, clutching his abdomen. The other man attacked Draive,
clasping him by the throat. In a flash of steel he had slashed the man's
elbow. The soldier fell back howling in pain, blood flowing from his wound.
Draive and Ele-Grie made a dash for their horses, the voices of the
other men at the tent followed them when they rode off, into the mountains,
as they sounded the alarm.
The prince and the Duke's daughter entered the Hall of Ecthelion,
walking past many etched columns and statuettes of stone, light streaming
in through high windows bouncing of the polished surface. At the far wall
was the throne. King Ecthelion sat there, a wizened old man, one of the
oldest people on the island. He wore robes of white, and a mantle of gold.
A long silver beard rolled out upon his thin chest. At the foot of the king
kneeled the Duke, Lareth.
The Duke was a middle-aged looking man, only the slightest hint of
age upon his face. He was tall, and wore the gray robes of the Court of
'My Lord,' said Draive and Ele-Grie, bowing before the king, 'we bear
urgent news from the shores of our island.'
Lareth rose and went to his daughter.
'What have you done, you foolish girl,' he scolded.
'Father, this is hardly the time,' she said placidly.
'It's him, isn't it?' Lareth said, casting a wary eye to the prince.
'Duke Lareth,' said the king, his raspy voice resonating from the
high walls of the Hall. 'Let the younglings speak.'
The Duke stepped back with a bow, but a look of rage remained upon
'I have news of foreigners landing upon our shores, my Lord,' said
he. 'They are of mortal kind.'
King Ecthelion's face-hardened at this, giving him a skeletal look.
'This is as is foretold in the Oath.'
All of them present made the sign of Light at the name of the Oath,
the document that told all of the Immortal's history and future.
'It tells that the mortals shall come to us for our land, and our
secret of immortality. No matter what they are to say, they are our enemy,'
he explained, his tone steely. 'We must prepare for war.'
Lareth stepped forward.
'Shall we not consult the prince first my lord?'
The king gave the Duke the sign to proceed.
'Is there anything strange about these. mortals?' he queried,
circling Draive as though he were his prey.
The prince narrowed his eyes at the Duke in suspicion.
'They seem to have things. things that make lightning,' he explained.
Duke Lareth nodded at this, as though in understanding.
'And, may I inquire, what where you doing at the shore in the first
place?' he said.
Ele looked as though she was about to protest, but kept her tongue.
'I was. taking . leave for a day,' Draive said.
'You seem, unsure.'
'I believe you are lying,' spat Lareth, as he stopping his circling
and stood to face Draive.
'Lareth,' warned the king, but the Duke gave him no heed.
'Who knows what you've said, when the shadows close in about you, and
all your life seems to shrink- who knows what you've said to them. You've
sold them this nation, you've sold them my daughter!' he accused.
Draive drew his dagger, taking a daring step toward the Duke. Lareth
fell back , his eyes flicking from Draive to the unmoving king.
'Be silent! Keep your foul tongue behind your teeth!' the prince
commanded. 'It is treachery you speak of, but you accusing me of it is
treachery in itself. I would never do as much.'
'My son,' said Ecthelion, trying to calm Draive's anger. 'He only
cares for this nation, and his daughter, as I care for you.'
The enraged prince stepped away from the cowering Duke, and sheathed
'I do not believe the Duke's words, though I will have to restrain
you, and Ele-Grie, from going to the beach. In the mean time, we must
prepare for battle. It is the eve of the Immortals.'
Draive stormed from the Hall of Ecthelion, running his hands through
his dark hair in thought. Ele-Grie caught up with him.
'Your father is sending all of this race to its demise,' she said,
trying to keep up with his quick pace.
'Yes, he is not aware of his actions,' Draive said, still keeping at
his relentless pace.
'No, you know not of what I speak. It is in the Oath that the mortals
will come, and that they will try to take our land and our secret of
Immortality, but it also says that to remain Immortal you must not take the
life of another. To do so would mean the instant aging and dying of our
people. We would lose to them,' Ele explained.
'It was the Eve of the Immortals he spoke of,' Draive observed.
'Yes, but Ecthelion has forgotten something as well.'
The army of Cirthiren was great, massing in a number of many
thousands, but the army did not need mass numbers to vanquish the
Immortals. What Draive had observed to be the power of lightning was not
lightning at all, but rather gunpowder. It was the greatest discovery of
men so far. All armies would fall before them as long as they had this.
The walls of Caeren were crowded with soldiers. At the cities' base,
the army of Lord Hirthgar, started to tactically surround the city,
positioning cannons at certain places where they thought the city wall
would be weakest.
As this was commencing, Draive and Ele-Grie entered the tunnels.
The tunnels were a dank and gloomy place where light was scarce, if
present at all. Draive and Ele passed dark passageways and forgotten tombs.
They entered the Vault of the Oath, a hall of the Elders that was used to
keep the sacred document. Draive shone the light of the torch he held over
many corpses of brave men.
It was then they came to the door of the Hall of Elder. It was a tall iron
door, gothic pillars rising to the high ceiling, and a large gargoyle ever
watching from the pinnacle.
Draive reached for the iron ring to open the hall door, but a deep
voice, as though arisen from the depths of the earth spoke, a warning to
None shall enter
'May I enter?' inquired Draive.
None shall enter
The large gargoyle flew from its ancient perch to the stone floor
before the prince and the mage. It had the head of a lion, the feet of a
bear, the wings of a bat, and the tail of a dragon.
'Is that all it says?' Draive asked the mage that stood behind her.
'Maybe it's all that you're asking,' Ele-Grie suggested.
'Alright,' sighed Draive. 'How may I enter?'
You will have to defeat me in battle, which no man has done.
Draive drew his dagger, and Ele conjured a protective circle of light.
'I honor you, ancient beast. I shall fight fair,'Draive slashed at
the creature, cutting it's shoulder open. The gargoyle lashed at the prince
with his bear paws, but the prince parried the blow with his blade.
Ele cast an illumination spell, blinding the creature, which had not
seen light in thousands of years. It slashed aimlessly in its state.
Draive took his chance. He lunged at the gargoyle, plunging his
dagger between the beast's shoulders. It squirmed beneath the blade, black
blood spurting from the wound. The gargoyle reared, flinging the prince to
the floor. The creature jumped on top of Draive and dug it's claws into the
Ele muttered the strange language of magic, summoning the power of
Light, a ball of iridescence grew in her palms. She threw the ball of light
at the gargoyle, knocking it from Draive. The beast writhed violently. It
was lashing to much for either Ele or Draive to attack. Soon it recovered.
You. are. worthy.
The gargoyle then turned to black stone.
They entered the Hall of Elder, it was identical to the Hall of Ecthelion,
but this was an ancient place, filled with cobwebs, dust, and rats. At the
far wall was not a throne, but a pedestal where the Oath lay. It was a
tome, bound with old cracked leather, the brown papers within seemingly
about to crumble into nothingness.
Ele-Grie picked up the ancient manuscript, and scanned through the
'Here it tells of the Immortal's laws for being an Immortal,' she
said, pointing to a line in the book, a couple sentences written in the old
text. 'And here,' she said, moving her finger down the page, 'It says that
Immortals cannot be Immortal if they kill another being.'
'So if we were to go to battle, and kill soldiers we would all either
turn into old men, or wither into dust?' Draive inquired.
The mage nodded solemnly. She turned the pages carefully.
'Here!' Ele cried, pointing to a place in the book, 'Here it tells
about the mortals coming to our island, and it also tells of a way to get
rid of them! A spell.'
'Can you cast it?' Draive asked.
'I will try, but this is the most complicated spell I have ever seen,
and it will take a lot out of me.'
The whole of the city shook, words of magic following the wind, the
sky turning to black. From the clouds an arm of light reached toward the
mortals. They screamed for life, but the light that filled them shook the
pillars of life, and they crumbled.
Flowers of white flew through the air, mingled with joyous singing.
Within the great Hall of Ecthelion both Draive and Ele-Grie kneeled before
the king. Ele in an elegant dress and Draive in royal armor, his arm in a
sling. All manner of people were there. The king stood, his own crown
raised above the head the head of his heir. The crown was placed upon
Draive's head, and he was heir no longer, but king of Cirthiren.