Dying Beneath Its Branches

By Amidireth756


A/N: Hello! This one has been haunting my thoughts for a while now, and I have a bunch of chapters already written and ready to post soon-ish.

Rated T for some violence and (mildly) scary scenes. There will be character deaths some time in this story, just a heads up for the future. Currently incomplete, but for now please enjoy this chapter and review afterwards! :)


Author: Amidireth756

Title: Dying Beneath Its Branches

Warning: Character death, violence, scenes might be scary for some people

Rating: T (to be safe)

Summary: There was a deadly poison spreading in Akrinia. It killed the plants until Akrinia became a dry wasteland. Creatures of any kind began to drop dead. It was like the very air was poisoned. Soon, their world will fall...

King Lúthon searches for ingredients to a potion of extreme value. Thilien hopes to save a life. Amidireth holds a grim secret.

Will a cure be found? At what cost?


Prologue

Never had he wished so much for land, to feel the dry grass of his master's dead crops beneath his feet, as the rain pelted his face. Large droplets of ice-cold water had shredded the sail to pieces, and it was being tossed around with the sea. Thilien couldn't even gasp before another wave came crashing down, causing his ship to sink even more. He opened his eyes wide to find himself buried under the ocean again, and his lungs burned.

Humans would say "he'll be fine, he's an Akrinian," but even Akrinians can't breathe with salt and water in their throat. The salt scratched him like hundreds of daggers, and his body was covered in both small and large cuts. He wondered whether his clothes were a mere shadow of what they used to be, but he pushed the thought to the back of his mind when his vision became blotchy.

He searched the dark nothingness around him, waving his arms frantically for something to grab a hold of, ignoring the sharp pain of the salt digging into him. Heart hammering against his chest, Thilien's fingers wrapped around something hard, and he pulled his body towards it– ignoring the slicing salt. Head resurfacing, he coughed before breathing deep, trying to calm his panicked heart. Lightning flashed, the sky lit up and thunder soon followed, the booming sound deafening his ears of salt, blood and water.

Thilien tightened his grip, the storm raging on him once more. His eyes stung from the sea and his own blood continuing to intrude, and a feint ringing could be heard in his now destroyed ears. A forced choke escaped his lips, and he was under again. With no warning, darkness had prevailed, clouds thickened until the sky disappeared, taking all light from the moon and stars with it. The wind arose to push the then calm waters, which morphed into giant, angry waves. He held onto the pole for dear life, taking in another deep breath before several more waves collided with his skull. He had tried to prepare for it, but it was too late. Beneath him the sea had rose as great mountains, fury in the form of water, turbulent and merciless, and he could do nothing.

Wave after wave after wave hit him, pushing him under and refusing oxygen entry to his lungs. His chest was on fire, every inch of him was covered in cuts, blood and bruises, and his arms grew tired. There was no mercy nor grace in the waves, only wrath and tempest. The morning would see him several leagues down with the fishes, and the thought calmed him a little. He looked up, searching for anything that might save him and, to his surprise, the mast stood strong.

He wrapped his hand around a rope and used his remaining energy to lift himself up. He was sprayed with water and salt after every fallen wave slammed into his small ship, and he swung violently in the stormy night sky. The air was thick with a briny mist, and below him the deck was engulfed in deadly waves. As his hand grasped the railing of the nest, his eyes widened slightly when he realised it was dripping with something hot and red. Thilien sighed and swung his exhausted self over to rest inside, dismissing it as more worrying thoughts entered his mind. Lowering himself down in the birds' nest and onto his back, smirk made its way across his face, celebrating his success, rain slamming into his face.

But his triumph was short-lived as a monstrous shadow swept over his face. Not too far away, a horrifying wave towered above him. Taller than any dragon he had ever seen, and immensely wider than several bunched together. A terrified shout died in his throat as he held tighter onto the rope, hoping it would somehow end what was to come. The wave inched closer and closer, its tremendous size growing greater and greater, its foreboding shape completely obscuring his view of anything and everything. Petrified tears built in the corners of his eyes, and he found himself shaking uncontrollably until he became paralysed in sheer terror.

He wasn't ready to die, he couldn't die. Images of his brother bent over his dying sister, waiting in vain for their brother's return, flashed in his mind. They caused him to clench his fists until they shook, and with the rope still in his hand he jumped from the nest and into the black ocean below, taking in a deep breath as he fell. The salt shredded his already wounded body, but deeper and further away he swam, the only thought driving him was his will to save his sister. He couldn't die, and he wouldn't die. Not when his siblings depend on him to return. If he could only swim out of reach of the impact, he might survive. For now. He turned his head, looking to the surface – which was now several leagues away – and the dark shape of the monster wave was his only sight. He could almost feel its power, and with a sickening jolt of his stomach, he realised he was too close. A feeling of utter hopelessness began to sink in.

He couldn't get away fast enough, and his sister would die thinking he had abandoned her. As the shadow turned solid, his tears joined the ocean around him and memories of every moment spent with his fellow Akrinians was relived in his mind.

If only he had known what was to become of him...


A/N: PHEW!

This is my first ever published story, and thank you for taking your time to read it!

The next few chapters probably won't be posted in a while, but I promise to write as fast as I can :)

Until next time!

Amidireth756