Caelyn looked up at the blackened ceiling of her cell. She could hear the ceremonial drums; even all the way down here they vibrated through her. Boom, boom, boom, a constant boom reminding her with each shake what they were planning to do, they were planning her execution. They were going to kill her and parade her head (stuck on a pike) around the village and beyond, why? Because she has betrayed them, because she had sided with the enemy, and because she had done the most horrid and unspeakable thing a woman could ever do. She had killed her son. Her one and only son but that was only because she had to, there was no other way.
Her son… her precious Faber, her handsome boy with the tawny brown hair and hazel eyes of his father and her own soft rounded features. He was perfect and had the most promising future, but Faber had on quality that marred and tainted everything else. His love forward and executions grew and grew until he did little else but watch people get hanged and tortured. It got so bad he use to get maniac look in his eye every time he saw death and despair, but no one noticed but Caelyn. One night Caelyn had a dream vision sent from the gods.
In it she saw Faber, all grown up and thirty years old. He was king and was standing before the large window of the library, overseeing the village. Caelyn didn't recognize what she saw; there were guillotines everywhere and the guards were beating and killing innocent citizens for no apparent reason what so ever! Fires, screaming, so much pain and suffering and what did Faber do? He laughed, he laughed until he was doubled over with the pain of it. "Who is this? This is not my son!" Caelyn screams, "where is my boy?"
Guards walk in and push a young girl down to her knees, without a word they present Faber with a red-hot poker. Faber proceeds to grab the poker and stab the poor girl multiple times, as she screams Faber smiles an evil demonic smile. The day after that vision dream Caelyn killed Faber. She had to do it; it was the only way to save the kingdom and Faber from himself, the only way. Faber's father and Caelyn's husband Lann, tried to execute Caelyn, but she manages to escape into the forest where she wander before collapsing to the forest floor, exhausted.
Just as she is about to die the rebels find her and save her from certain death, it takes months before she is accepted, but she soon rises until she is one of their top leader and the most wanted women in all of Viintaas. One day a raid on her camp leads to her capture and this cell where she lay awaiting her fate, listening to the drums above. Caelyn bowed her head and allowed some of the tears she had held in for all this time escape and they fell upon her dirt-encrusted feet. Caelyn knew the rebels were planning a rescue, but she didn't want to be rescued. She had, had enough of this life she wanted to move on and be with her little boy Faber, she wanted to tell him how sorry she was, how much she loved him… Bang! Crash! Thump, thump, thump! Are the sounds that echo down to Caelyn from above, indicating that they were coming for her. So it's time.
Caelyn sat up as much as the chains would allow and holds her head high, "What can I say?" She thinks, I was once the queen of this kingdom and old habits die hard."
Out of the dark hole that is the stairs, flickering lights appeared followed by guards and her husband King Lann himself. He walks up to her cell and without looking at her directly says, "It's time for your execution, the guards are going to undo your shackles and escort you up to where you will be executed."
Caelyn looks up at his face and sees he is trying to hide this sadness from her, but she can see it in his eyes, why is he not angry? Why does he look so sad? Caelyn's thoughts are interrupted when the guards drag her to her feet and up the long stone staircase. Several minutes later the dark of the stairs opens up to the wide sunny courtyard, in the courtyard there was a raised platform with a large pole in the middle. The guards bring Caelyn to that pole and tie her there, but the knots are loose. Caelyn frowns; the guards are expert knot tiers why are they tying such a bad knot? Lann walks over and crouches down very close to her ear. "Listen Caelyn we are going to pretend to execute you, you break free just as the axe swings down and run. Your rebel friends will cause a distraction," he whispers pulling her blond hair to the side to hide his lips.
"Why?" Caelyn breathes, barely speaking.
"Because I can't stand to lose both you and Faber, I was stupid before I shouldn't have tries to kill you. The gods… they sent me a dream explaining everything."
"You saw what our boy would have become?"
"Yes, they showed me and I still can't believe it, but I have no choice now. The people would revolt against me if I didn't make it look like I executed you, I'm sorry. I love you Caelyn, always."
Tears well up in Caelyn's eyes and she let them fall freely, barely containing her sobs she says. "I love you too Lann."
Lann brushes her cheek, then stands to address the crowd of roaring citizens Caelyn didn't notice until then, all roaring for her blood funny when a few short months ago the loved her. "Citizens of Viintaas! We have finally captured the retched Queen Caelyn! Her crime? Murdering her one and only son Prince Faber! The consequence for this crime is death, what say you?" King Lann shouts at the crowd.
The crowd goes crazy, cheering and screaming their consent. Typical of course, the villagers are often sheep like, following their leader without a thought to what they themselves might think, so sad. "If that is what you think than it shall be done! Golt, ready the axe! Let's get this over with," Lann said turning around and speaking to the royal executioner Golt, who really is too kind of a man for a job like this.
The axe is raised above Caelyn's head and she tenses ready to run, she was still tired of this life but she couldn't stand hurting Lann again so she will live for his sake. As the axe comes down Caelyn wiggles out of the ropes and dives to the side, barely missing being decapitated. The only problem is that dive sent her flying off the platform and as she tumbled to a stop Caelyn could feel a sharp burning pain in her ankle, leading her to believe it was broken. As she attempted to limp away she could see brown cloaked rebels swinging over the walls, guards running to meet them, the crowd spilling from the stands and filling the courtyard in a panic, and lastly before her view was cut off by the crush of bodies, Lann. Trying to push through the crowd towards her and mouthing run. And run she tried but that isn't so easy with people running in blind panic, pushing and shoving you around and it didn't help matters that she was attempting to run on a broken ankle.
Eventually Caelyn found herself back at the platform, so she climbed a few steps just to escape the seething mass of a crowd. Caelyn surveys the area looking for Lann but not even catching a glimpse of his clothing, the crowd is simply too thick and chaotic to find even the most noticeable person, maybe that is why no one has killed her yet. Taking a closer look at what is going on, Caelyn can see that the rebels were fighting the guards and the guards trying their hardest to push them back, but they are severely hampered by the screaming, panicking villagers. They could hardly swing their swords without slicing some villager in two, and the rebels were mostly using daggers so they were much better equipped for these circumstances. Caelyn walks until she is on top of the platform but she still can't see Lann, but wait!
She saw the sun shining off his crown as he pushed is way through the crowd towards her. Caelyn can see his mouth moving and knows that he is yelling at her, and he has a panicked look on his face, what's wrong? Caelyn waves at him to let him know she is alright and his movements grow more and more erratic, as he literally punches people in the face in his hurry to reach her. There is only one reason as to why he would look so scared. Something was coming for her. Caelyn started to run down the steps but she had only gone one step when a large knife hit her in the chest, sending her flying backwards onto the platform.
At first Caelyn doesn't know what hit her, then she sees the crimson red spreading across her shirt and the knife sticking out of her chest, she gasps and feels what feels like a raging fire permeate through her body centered around her heart. Caelyn struggles to breathe as her vision dims and the fire burns her body, she is just about to close her eyes when someone shakes her bringing her back from the edge of the abyss. It's Lann and he is shaking her, soaking her with his tears, when Caelyn opens her eyes Lann grabs her face and cries. "Please don't die Caelyn, we can heal you just hold on please, please don't let go!"
"My love I cannot hold on. The injury is too great you know it, but I cannot leave you so sad. Please Lann let go of me and move on please? Can you forgive me for everything I have done? It would make me happier knowing you are that you truly forgave me and that you had moved on please…" Caelyn whispers her voice weak and cracking.
"I-I can't let go Caelyn, as much as I want to trust you I can't," Lann said still crying.
Lann hesitates then as he looks deeply in Caelyn's eyes and says these words she could see a flash of something, something younger more spirited than Lann's soul, Faber. "I forgive you Caelyn, I will love you forever no matter what has been done, I forgive you," Lann/Faber said their voices combining.
Caelyn smiled and kissed Lann's cheek. "I love you too," Caelyn tells them both.
Lann gently laid down her head and as Caelyn faded away, the fire dimming she could still hear both their voices, I love you, they whispered over and over until Caelyn could hear no more. Caelyn got a brief glimpse of her body as her spirit flew away, and she saw Lann still bended over whispering her name. Caelyn felt a tap on her shoulder and turned to see Faber; he smiled and held out his hand. After a moment's hesitation Caelyn took it and they parted from this world together as any mother and son should be, together at last.