The Kingdom of Madayla
Chapter one- Meet the Brat
Alone on the deserted battle filed could be heard two warriors fighting for personal victory.
Their blades crashed against each other; strong metal creating sparks. One was an old elf whose blue eyes glowed with determination. He was still built for his age, but a few inches less than average height. The other was a young girl. Her dark brown hair fell to the middle of her back, flowing with every move she made. She was of average height, at the age of eighteen. The old elf could not read her eyes, for she kept all thoughts and emotions hidden under layers of solitude within her emerald eyes. It took her years to perfect this.
The girl turned and took another swing at the man, but he blocked it just in time. Coming up with another tactic she moved her sword in a full circler. The old elf's sword flew out of his hands as she forced her blade to his skin, but was careful to draw no blood.
"Alas I have you within my grasp! Surrender now or feel the cold hilt of my blade pursue further against your skin," said the girl in a very serious and threatening tone. She kept her face frozen, making sure to show no fear or pity.
The elf laughed. "Alright, alright I surrender." He put his hands out to his sides to show he was sincere. "Now will you get that sword away from me?" He made sure to make his humor was known in his last sentence. If there was one thing that girl could do with a sword, it was controlling it completely.
The girl smiled and slowly moved the sword away from him. "What's a matter, Kirren? Do you not trust your own teachings," she teased. She sheathed her sword back in its place.
Kirren smiled, and shook his head. "It's not that at all. I'm afraid I have taught you too well."
She grinned. She always enjoyed getting complements about her skills in combat. "Well, Kirren, there is no doubt in my mind that you could best me if still in your prime."
Kirren frowned, then protested. "I'm not that old!"
"Older than most," she interjected.
"Well… I guess I should be proud then, if I can, even if almost, hold my own against the mighty Princess Iris."
She laughed and gave him a light punch in the arm. "Don't lie Kirren. I know you were holding back. You've always been afraid to hurt me in combat."
"I don't want your father to behead me for giving his daughter a cut in the arm. Even if I am a noble knight, he would be furious."
Iris frowned. She turned too look down at her feet, while absentmindedly biting her lip. "It's not like he'd notice."
Kirren opened his mouth to reassure the girl that her father loved and cared for her, even if it was impossible to tell at times, but noticed two figures approaching. As they made their way over to Iris and himself, he could now tell that it was the King, and a Lady that he had never seen before.
"Who is she?" Iris whispered to her mentor.
But before he could respond they came within hearing distance. Iris forced a polite smile to her father and curtsied. "Good morning father. If it isn't to bold to ask, what ails you to the battle field today?"
The King glared at his daughter. "I should be asking you the same thing Iris. You know I have told you many times of how much I dislike you training. It is not for a Lady."
One would suspect Iris to frown, but she only tried to conceal the glare that was about to burst out upon her face. She reluctantly forced another smile. "I am only trying to learn how to defend myself father." Not that you'd care…
"That's what guards and Knights like Kirren are for." The King gestured towards Kirren.
"I will hear no protest child!" the King interrupted. "Your nineteenth birthday is coming up in no more than a year, which means you will be of age. It is time I put more pressure on you to become a Lady. No more swords or playing with the knights. Your days as a child are coming to an end." He then looked over to the Lady standing beside him. "This is Lady Hirriet, an old friend of mine. I've brought her here to teach you how to be a Lady." He looked over to his daughter with a cold face. "You will follow everything she says, take every order she commands. I'll see you a Lady yet." And with that he walked away, leaving the other three behind.
Iris glared at the woman. There was something about her that made Iris want to slap her. Maybe it was the way the tall woman stared down at her, or how she was so masculine, or maybe it was the fact that she now had to take orders from someone that was far beneath her. She shivered at the thought, and turned to Kirren.
She didn't mind taking orders from him, most of the time. He actually never gave orders, just asked. She'd known the old elf since she was but a young child. After seeing his sparring for the first time she was amazed with what the elf could do in combat, and he became her mentor. Deep down, she had little respect for many, but Kirren had earned plenty of respect. So at a young age, her father allowed her to practice sparring, he had no choice in the matter really. Whenever he protested, Iris went into a fitful rage. One would say she was rather spoiled.
The Lady cleared her throat, and Iris forced herself to politely look back at the woman. "Follow me back into the castle so I can rid you of your weapons. Then you will find yourself a dress." She looked at and studied the girl. Her face formed a disgusted look. "Really, what were you thinking, wearing a tunic?" She turned around and began to walk away. Iris made an attempt to run after her in rage, clenching onto her sword, but Kirren grabbed her hand before she could do anything.
She turned to look at him, and prepared her argument. But before she could open her mouth Kirren shook his head. "You're like a fire cracker, Iris. She's not worthy of letting yourself explode over. Just try this out… try and respect… the woman."
She ripped her hand out of his. "I'll be kicked out of this damned castle before I bow down to her!" She stormed off towards the inside of the castle.
Months passed by, and soon Lady Hirriet had been with Iris for almost a year. At first, Iris tried in vein to respect the Lady, because the darn woman had doubts that Iris could do even that, but now she just gave up. Lady Hirriet was one that she just could not get along with. She supposed she could be a Lady if she needed to, but that was not who she was. Unfortunately, the only one who truly accepted her was her motor, Kirren. She never had an opportunity to see him anymore. Very rarely she found time to sneak away from Lady Hirriet.
Iris could hear the petrifying sound from far away as it came closer every second. The sound of hard footsteps pounding against the cold stone floor sent shivers down her spine as she realized whom it was. She looked around the room hoping to find an escape but discovered she was trapped. At the moment three maids surrounded her with pins and needles, as they were making her knew dress. Iris put her head down and heaved a loud sigh trying to prepare for the monster.
The door bolted open with a loud bang and a woman entered. She held fire within her shallow brown eyes that made Iris cringed as she met them with her own. The woman was tall with a strong build and had a masculine face. Her dark brown hair was put in a high bun. Her thin, dry lips pressed against each other in rage as she glared at Iris.
"What in God's name is going on?" The woman demanded.
Iris looked around a bit confused. "What do you mean Lady Hirriet?"
"You snuck off and went sparring, that's what's I'm talking about!"
Iris sighed. She couldn't take much more of her, but for now she just tried to just accept that she was here. Although, this wouldn't stop her from being the person she had come to be. "So?" she shrugged her shoulders, hiding any emotions.
Lady Hirriet growled at her. "You spoiled little Princes that's what you are!"
Iris felt her frustration trying to free itself, but she fought to keep it in. Why did she always let the old hag get to her? She had only been here in a short time, considerably… but it felt like forever!
She felt sorrow for a moment as she scolded herself for feeling so helpless. However, the vulnerability held within her soon turned back to anger and revenge. Iris was always strong and would not tolerate being pushed around anymore. She bit her lip and turned back to Lady Hirriet. Their eyes met and both new each pare could set fire to the other.
"I don't care!" Iris yelled, pushing the three maids out of her way so she could step closer to the lady. "You have no right to do this. I can do as I please. I'm the princess. I've had enough of taking orders from someone so beneath me."
"Watch how you speak to me child," Lady Hirriet threatened. She leaned in as Iris came closer, now a few inches away from each other.
"Child?" Iris cocked her left eyebrow. "I am no longer a child and I no longer need you. For today I have turned Nineteen and am now of age." She pointed towards the door and yelled, "I command you to leave! Unless you really want to discover how furious I really am."
Their eyes glared at each other for a long moment, each fighting to win the battle. Finally Lady Hirriet turned and walked away, slamming the door behind her. Iris sighed and said quietly, "Hopefully I will be rid of her soon." She then looked at the maids who had been watching the whole time and scowled at them, now in a fowl mood. "Finish the dress as I want it. Have it ready for tonight."
"Yes your highness," replied one and bowed.
"Whatever," replied Iris and she slipped urgently out of the green dress, throwing it onto the ground and back into her tunic.
Iris made her way through a silent hallway. She walked gracefully beginning to forget about the conflict that only happened a few minutes ago. She stopped in front of a large wooden door and pushed it open. Inside, the room was filled with hundreds of weapons. She scanned the room searching for particular ones. Her eyes lit as she found them.
She ran towards her weapons as a smile grew upon her face. Now before her were her most treasured material possessions. Iris studied them, her hand tracing them lightly. Two swords, and ten daggers that were once her mothers, now belonged to her. The swords were a bit longer than average. Created personally for Lady Lintous, Iris's mother, long ago. The weapons were made from the greatest medal; they were light yet strong and sharp. Iris smiled proudly remembering being told that her mother wanted her to have them. She received them when she was seven, when Kirren began training her. Unfortunately, Lady Hirriet confiscated them saying it was not for a lady to know how to fight. However, Iris thought differently and kept sparring with her mentor despite Lady Hirriet's opinion.
She began to place them on herself, as if preparing for battle. Iris wondered what it was like to be in battle. She hated that woman were not to participate, no matter how dangerous. She loved her Kingdom, and was willing to fight for its protection.
She laughed as she put the last dagger in her belt, feeling like herself once more. "I'm curious to see Lady Hirriet's reaction," she said grinning. It was sometimes funny to see the woman spas. She was now of age, an adult. And really, Iris figured, there was nothing more Lady Hirriet could do.
She left the room with laughter still in her eyes. She walked around the castle for a while when suddenly she froze. She felt the hairs on her back rise as she took a deep breath and closed her eyes. "Not now," she said quietly. Iris slowly opened her eyes to see Lady Harriet now in front of her. She expected herself to find Lady Harriet's response amusing, but then remembered the woman's temper.
"Don't you ever listen?" Lady Harriet asked. She shouted so loud it could pierce someone's ears.
"Yes," Iris said strongly putting her hands on her hips glaring back at her. "I just chose not to follow your pointless commands." Oh Gods! She thought. Iris found that she was confused with herself. She wanted to stand up for herself yet Lady Harriet was a woman even the knights feared. But then she remembered what she was thinking moments ago.
"You cheeky little brat! Why do you choose to be so savage! It's just like your mother it is. Prancing around the castle wearing weapons… what is the point?"
"To feel power," Iris growled. It was true. She did feel more powerful, and safer with her weapons, especially with the war beginning to rage against the Kitlirs.
"That's stupid," Lady Hirriet snorted.
Now fire burned in Iris. She could no longer stand this monster, this monster that had been haunting her for the past year. This woman, that pointed out her every flaw until Iris felt like an ugly whore not meant to be royalty. All her memories boiled inside of her. Almost unwillingly Iris responded.
Remembering one of her most prominent moves, she took a risk. She took one of the swords from her back and swung it towards Lady Harriet until it was a sliver away from her throat. She froze looking into the monsters eyes. She held them in her own, showing the lady what it truly meant to be powerful. For the first time ever she saw fear in the old hag. "You are to be dismissed form this castle at once," Iris ordered not blinking once.
"Wait… what?" Lady Harriet blinked rapidly showing her bewilderment.
"You heard me, leave! You are charged for disrespecting the royal family!" She slowly removed the sword and stared up at her but Lady Hirriet wouldn't back away.
"I wont go," she hissed. "You father has given me permission to order you around!"
Iris grinned. "That was when I was a child. Now, I'm an adult."
"Fine, if you wont cooperate…" She looked down the hall and called out in a demanding tone, "Guards!"
It only took a second for four guards to come around the corner and into Lady Hirriet's sight. She gasped as she realized what was possible. The guards came up to Iris, all bowing and waited for Princess Iris's response. A mischievous grin crossed the Princesses face.
"Take her away," the princess ordered. The guards looked at her questionably. The look of doubt on their faces made her irritated. How dare they question my orders!? "I said take her away," she shouted. "She has been charged for disrespecting the royal family. She is forbidden to walk on any castle grounds."
This time the guards did not question. They simply nodded their heads, and headed towards Lady Hirriet. Lady Hirriet took a few steps back, but the guards kept coming. She took a swing at one approaching her and yelled. "No! She can't do this!"
The guard that she hit took her hands and began to force her away from princess Iris, but she still tried to fight. "Stop fighting!" the guard told her. "No one is to disrespect the princess, your just getting what you deserve." He pushed her further along.
Lady Hirriet took one last look at Iris and claimed her vengeance. "You'll pay for this!"
Iris cocked her head in curiosity. What did she mean by that? But she shrugged it off to think of it as nothing. She now set off to inform her father that she just fired Lady Hirriet.
King Mortin sat upon his thrown attending to his royal duties. Today, his only daughter was turning nineteen. However, he did not have time to spend with his daughter, as usual. There was a war beginning to rage with the Kitlir's and he had to do everything in his power to stop it.
"King Mortin?" a voice interrupted his thoughts.
"Hmm? What?" he responded.
"I asked if you have arranged a council meeting with the other Kingdoms yet?" responded the general politely.
"No," he sighed. "I'm afraid none will listen to reason right now."
"But your highness, how will we defeat them?"
As the King pondered in his thoughts to answer, the door to the room swung open. Rushing through it was Iris who looked out of breath, as if she'd been running.
"Iris what is the meaning of this?" her father demanded.
"I have news of Lady Hirriet father," she replied taking in a deep breath.
"What is the matter?" he asked impatiently.
"I have dismissed her from the castle against her own will for disrespecting the royal family," she replied bluntly.
"What? Why? What did she do?" His voice sounded angry and irritated. Iris was not surprised in the least.
"I have had enough of her. She is trying to change who I am. Father, if you cannot accept me… that is not my fault. But I refuse to be a puppet and go around acting like someone I'm not."
"Iris!" he yelled. Iris shivered. She had never heard her father yell in such an angry tone, and she had heard his angry tones plenty of times. "That is one of the most ignorant things you have ever done! You cannot be a princess prancing around in a tunic and sword in hand! We have a status to represent."
"And I'm representing it father. I now I'm above every one but you. That is why I could not stand her. I could not stand some one bossing me around telling me what to do… that's my job!" she cried.
The king shook his head in shame. "Iris I have failed you. I'm afraid in all my effort in raising you you've turned out wrong."
Iris was hurt at his words. Her own father was ashamed of her. She felt a few tears slide down her cheeks but fought for most to stay back. She shook her head in disbelief and started to back away from him.
"You didn't even raise me! If not for your blood in mine I would not call you my father!"
She turned then run out of the room. She knew she couldn't get away from him. It's not that she hated her father; it's just that he wouldn't accept her. She was the princess! Everyone should be bowing down before her.
The room was completely silent. The only thing that could be heard was his writing on his paper. All his concentration was on it, the suddenly the door burst open. He looked up to see who it was, and grew angry at first sight.
"What are you doing here Hirriet?" he demanded. "Tonight is the party, why aren't at the castle?"
She took a deep breath and replied, "The little brat kicked me out."
"Do you realize was this means Hirriet? All our planning has gone to waste!"
"I know Demitire but I couldn't help it."
"You could have acted nicer."
"No… That little monster had it in for me. She never listened and acted as if she was high above me. Plus, she's her mothers daughter, I could do nothing but hate her."
"Still angry that she won the Kings heart and left you without the throne, are you?" he teased.
Fire burned in her eyes, yet there was also sadness. "I loved him Demitire! I know I wasn't supposed to but he was so wonderful. I would have left all plans behind to be his wife happily if the witch didn't show up!"
"Now, now. It's not your fault that Lady Lintous was the most beautiful and charming girl in all the land."
"Why you little,"
"Little what? Failure? I'm afraid that's you my dear. The Kitlir's were counting on you. Now who is going to influence the fall of Madayla?"
She thought for a moment then grinned, "I still have a plan. How soon can you get the army together?"
Iris stood in the middle of the ballroom watching everything. The room was filled with noises of laughter of the high class. She usually enjoyed these functions. But tonight she didn't feel very well. Her thoughts kept going back to her fathers face. He was so ashamed. But she was just being who she was. She didn't mind dressing up once in a while, as long as she chose the dress. But she enjoyed a good sword fight, or a match at archery. She enjoyed wearing trousers or tunics and riding horses. Despite all of this she was the princess, and she felt herself worthy to be.
She went on having casual conversations with various nobles and lords, keeping herself polite. She tried to learn as much about each as she could. After all, one day Kingdom Madayla would be hers, and she should have strong ties with these people to keep Madayla strong.
She was wearing a long silk green dress tonight, a traditional color for her kingdom. Green was common for her elves, since they were wood elves. And her Kingdom was known to be the strongest out of all the wood elf Kingdoms. It was established only a few centuries ago, that Kingdom Madayla was to be the high kingdom of wood elves. This would explain why there was so much conflict with the Kitlir's who were a foul disgusting race worse than Goblins or Orcs.
Iris Cringed as she noticed another noble elf watching her. She felt sick as he winked at her and had a sudden urge to slap him. Of course she was going to have to get used to this… these high wood elves trying to pursue her. She knew every last one of them and what they were like. They were all snobby pigs that cared not for her, but the fame of being a king. But really, Iris never felt anything for any man. She was so locked up within her self that she never bothered to notice any. She wanted to be alone, she was used to it. Her father never said as much as a word to her every other day, and her mother mysteriously disappeared a few months after Iris was born. Of course, Iris had Kirren, her trusting and loyal friend. And the more she thought about it, the more she came to realize her was more like a father to her. He'd practically raised her for crying out loud. He taught her many things. She supposed he was part of the reason she was who she was. But then again, she also chose her path that led to who she is. She supposed that one-day, relatively soon, she would have to marry one of these nobles or lords. She tried not to mind and told herself that as s long as they were of high status, good for the kingdom, decent looking and she got along with him without arguing too much; it's not like there is such as thing as love anyways.
A tap on her shoulder distracted Iris's thoughts. Now fully aware of the rest of the world she turned around to see her Kirren standing before her.
"How are you holding up?" he asked with a sympathetic look.
Iris forced a light smile. "I'm doing rather well."
Kirren shook his head. He could see right through her. "No. You're not. I heard what happened today. With your father, and Lady Hirriet. I'm sorry that he said that. You know he means well."
She shook her head. "How can you say that?"
"Because, I know. You father doesn't understand the thrill of fighting in combat like we do. He just sits on his throne." He then laughed. "Your father has never been much of a fighter. You get it all from your mother. Thus, he doesn't understand what he's taking away from you."
She nodded, trying to understand. "Thank you Kirren." She smiled.
There was a moment of awkward silence, and then Kirren spoke. "Happy birthday by the way. Your life has just begun, you've just turn of age. You know what this means?"
She laughed lightly and answered, "I'm going to age much slower now."
"Like all elves. One of the gifts from the gods of our beautiful world Ganitsha."
Iris smiled. "The gods are always on our side. That why I know if a real war were to erupt with the Kitlir's we could defeat them." She saw Kirren begin to frown. "What is it?" she asked feeling a bit worried.
"Their armies are growing strong Iris. Their numbers seem to double by the hour."
"I know," she replied trying to mask the horror she knew was written all over her face.
Kirren smiled at her, trying to lift up her spirits. "But like you said, the gods seem to be on our side. Well… most of them anyways.
She nodded and forced a smile back. "I hope your right. If you'll excuse me now, my father is watching and I should go back to mingling and acting like a lady…" He nodded in acceptance and she went on her way.
Iris walked over to a table where they served refreshments and contemplated on what to drink. She was about to tell a servant to get her something when suddenly there was a loud bang, the sound of a window breaking. She tried to find out what was going on but everyone seemed to be screaming and running around. When Iris saw what was wrong her eyes grew wide, as she felt petrified. "Oh God's!" she gasped. Her voice was trembling with fear.
Authors note: The first two chapters I must admit are a tad boring, or at least to the rest of the story. Chapter three is when the real fun begins. There, we meet a certain mage elf who makes thing a lot more interesting and entertaining.
Review and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by.