Once upon a time, there was a woman named Kelly, who found out she was the lost Princes of a magical race called the Majikynd.
“You must take her Driscoll,” Harand the Majikynd king said to his brother, “she will not be safe here. You know as well as I do, that once the Lupions break through the city’s wards, that they’ll slay us all.”
Driscoll nodded, and held out his arms for the newly born princess. Kerla began to sob, stroking the baby’s dark curls one last time. Finally she relinquished her into his arms. Driscoll, traced a doorway into the air, then opened it up and stepped through. The howls of the Lupions could be heard, as they broke through the wards, and Kerla summoned her weapons, standing beside Harand, despite the fact that she had just given birth. She was doing what all Majikynd was taught to do from the moment they could stand, giving no quarter. The door snapped shut and Driscoll found himself in an alley, slowly he came forward and peeked around the corner. When he saw nothing that could be perceived as a threat, he came out, cradling the princess gently in his arms. He walked down the quiet tree lined street until he finally came to a row of houses. Casting out his senses, he realized the one on the end was where he needed to leave the princess, it was a house of love and goodness. He quickly cast a vanishing spell over himself and the baby, before quietly creeping up to the house.
“You will be safe here, my princess,” he said softly, then gently kissed the baby on her forehead.
He set her down on the front stoop of the house and dissolved the baby’s spell, before knocking on the door. Stepping back, he watched as the door opened and a beautiful red-haired woman stepped out. She cried out for her husband when she saw the princess, and he came running quickly. He stepped out onto the porch and looked around, as if he could find who left the baby. But of course he saw no one, he turned around and gathered the baby gently up, taking her inside and shutting the door. Satisfied that the princess was safe, he drew a door and stepped in. The princess would need to grow and mature before she could come back and free her people, now she would be able to. Slowly the door swung shut, sending Driscoll back too whatever he may find in Avelonie.
The couple named the princess, Kelly and she had a normal happy childhood, she knew she was adopted and of course she always had the typical girlish fantasies about finding out she was a princess. Little did she know that when she was twenty-five, those fantasies would become true.
Driscoll quickly stepped through the door, and it slammed shut behind him. Twenty-five years had passed since he had brought the princess to this place, and they had been dark ones for the Majikynd. After he had hidden the princess, he had returned to Kella, only to find that the Lupions had murdered the royal line of the Majikynd, the only two remaining, was himself and the princess. With his honey-colored hair and intense green eyes, Driscoll knew that by one look the Lupions would know he was of the royal line. So he put a glamour on himself, and left Avelonie, traveling north to live with his distant cousins, the Briwnes. He dwelled there, until he knew the time was right to retrieve the long lost princess and restore the royal line of the Majikynd.
Now he looked around, wondering if he would recognize the princess, if he saw her. Suddenly the door to the building he was standing next too opened, and two women came out, laughing and talking. One woman was short, with black hair, but it was the other woman who caught his attention. She looked just like Kerla, and he knew without a doubt that this was the princess.
“I’ll see you tomorrow Kelly,” the black-haired woman said, and they parted. Driscoll waited until Kelly had gotten to her car, then he approached her.
“Excuse me,” he said quietly, and she looked up.
“Yes,” she asked cautiously.
“This is going to sound crazy,” he began, “but my name is Driscoll, and I have come to take you back to your rightful home.”
Kelly backed up a step, looking frightened. “Look,” she said, “Driscoll, I don’t know you, I’m not going anywhere with you and if you don’t leave me alone, I’m going to scream.”
“You were left on the doorstep of Joe and Mary Garner, when you were a baby,” Driscoll said, “ you have a star-shaped mole on your left thigh, and magical things seem to happen when you’re around.”
He cocked an eyebrow and looked at Kelly, “am I correct?”
She looked stunned, “how did you know . . . , are you a stalker?”
Driscoll smiled, “I’m your uncle, and you are a very special woman. You are the last princess of the Majikynd, a magical race of people that live in a country know as Avelonie.”
Kelly held out her hand, “wait, are you saying that I’m not human?”
Driscoll shook his head, “you’re human, well more human then the Briwnes are, they’re more like the human verison of the Sidhe.” He shook his head again, “but you possess more magic then a normal human does.”
“Is this a joke?” Kelly asked, “am I on Candid Camera?”
Driscoll looked suddenly grim, “this is no joke, and time is running out. The Lupions are slowly wiping out the Majikynd. Soon there will be none left. Then I fear they’ll turn their eyes onto the other magical lands. You are the only one who can stop them.”
Kelly looked at him, shocked, “you’re really serious,” she said. “But I don’t know anything about magic, what if I can’t do it?”
Driscoll began to answer, when a sudden flash, made him turn.
“Damn it, they must have traced the trail of magic left by my portal,” he said vehemently.
He stepped in front of Kelly, just as five large men, in armor, stepped out of what seemed like thin air.
“Galahall,” Driscoll said angrily, “I told your king that I would find the princess and bring her back. There is no need, for more magic to be involved. This is just asking for the Lupions to come and investigate.”
Galhall, took off his helmet, and Kelly unconsciously drew in a sharp breath. He had to be the most beautiful man she had ever seen in her life, with long silver hair and turquoise eyes.
He looked at her, with a glint of appreciation, then looked back at Driscoll.
“The Lupions are on the move,” he said, “somehow they found out about the princess, and have dispatched some of their warriors here to find her. Luckily they can’t follow the magic trail like we can, so they didn’t know exactly where to look.”
Fear and alarm showed in Driscoll’s eyes when he looked at Kelly, “we need to leave now.” He said quietly.
“Now!” Kelly cried, “but what about my parents, my job, everything here? I just can’t leave it.”
“I’m afraid that you have to my princess,” Galhall, said, “you’re loved ones are safer with you gone. The Lupions won’t bother them, it’s only you they want.”
“That reassures me greatly,” Kelly said drily as she followed Driscoll and the warriors, into the alley.
Galhall sent a bolt of magic out of his hand, that raced through the sky like a shooting star.
“The Lupions will know that we have left now, and will not linger in this world,” he said in explanation, then traced a door into thin air.
He opened the door, and his warriors entered first, followed by Driscoll, Kelly followed and she was aware of Galhall’s nearness, as he entered behind her. The door slammed shut behind them, and Kelly realized they were in a large building.
“Welcome to Paladiane princess,” Galhall murmured close to her ear, sending shivers down her spine.
He pushed past them, until he was leading the way, and they walked down a long corridor, until they reached a large door made of oak.
“This is the secret entrance to the king of the Briwnes’ throne room.” Galhall explained, “he wanted a private meeting with the lost princess of the Majikynd.”
He opened the door, then gestured for Kelly to enter. She did, then turned when she realized that Driscoll had stayed in the hall.
“This is a private matter between you and the king,” he said, “I can’t attend.”
Galhall smiled at her reassuringly, “you’ll be fine Princess,” he said, then closed the door, leaving Kelly alone.
Slowly she turned and stared in awe. The room was massive, cloaked in every color possible, with a large golden throne on a raised dias at one end. She walked to the middle of the room and turned around slowly, looking at the beautiful murals that graced the walls, depicting what she assumed were important events in the Briwnes’ history. She walked toward the largest and began to examine it closely.
“That is the depiction of the Battle of Kerais,” a voice said behind her, causing her to gasp and spin around. A handsome man stood behind her, one who looked almost exactly like Galhall, except for the fact that his eyes were a darker turquoise.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you,” he said, “you were so enthralled by the mural that you didn’t hear me come in.”
He smiled at her, “I am Teir, King of the Briwnes,” he said, “it’s an honor to finally meet you.”
“I’m Kelly,” she said, giving him a tentative smile in return.
He held out his arm, “will you walk with me in the gardens?” He asked softly.
Kelly nodded, taking his arm and letting him to lead the way.
They walked in silence for several minutes, as Kelly looked around her in awe, every planet and flower known to man was present, creating a riot of colors.
Finally Teir stopped, “we are living in dire times princess,” he said soberly. “The Lupions have almost decimated the Majikynd and I fear they will soon go against the Briwnes.”
He looked at Kelly, “but you can change all that.”
Kelly turned to stare at some tiger striped roses behind her, “how can I change it,” she asked, “five hours ago, I didn’t even know I was a princess, now I’m expected to save two kingdoms?”
Teir gently laid a hand on her shoulder, “I know it’s a daunting task,” he said quietly, “but your people need you, and so do mine.”
Kelly turned and looked at him, “how am I supposed to do this?” She asked.
“It will not be easy,” Teir said, “the Lupions won’t give up without a fight, but once the people of Avelonie see you, they’ll know that the last princess has returned and they will stand.”
He began to lead her back toward the palace doors, “there will be a council tonight with the Briwnes elders, to consult the orb of perception. They will decide when the best time is to strike against the Lupions. I will have someone show you to a room, so you can rest until then.”
They entered the throne room again, and Teir pulled a long velvet rope. A chiming sound rang through the room, and a young female with long red hair appeared.
“You called?” She asked in a soft voice.
“Yes Windia,” Teir said, “please take the princess to a room, where she can rest until the council tonight.”
Windia bowed, “yes my king,” she said, “this way please my lady.”
She turned and began to walk from the room, Kelly smiled at Teir, then turned, following Windia out of the room.
Windia led Kelly down a long hallway, before stopping at an immense oak door.
“This will be your room my lady,” she said, opening the door.
Kelly stepped in and her breath caught in her throat. The room was done in rose and gold and was bigger then her whole apartment had been. There was a large bed on one wall that could’ve easily fit five people.
“Thank you Windia,” Kelly said, turning and facing her.
Windia smiled, “rest well my lady,” she said and bowed, then closed the door behind her.
Kelly realized suddenly how exhausted she was, and she sagged against the door for a moment, before stumbling across the room to the bed. She laid down and felt like she was being enveloped in a soft cloud, slowly her eyes closed and she fell into a deep sleep.
“My lady it is time to awaken,” a voice broke through Kelly’s deep sleep. She opened her eyes and saw Windia standing over her, behind her, stood two other females, one with red hair like Windia’s, the other with hair as black as coal.
“King Teir has ordered a feast prepared in your honor tonight before the council,” Windia said, “we have come to help you get ready.”
Kelly got out of the bed and the two females came forward, they quickly helped her undress, then led her to a large claw-footed tub, that was full of hot water. After she had stepped into it, they helped her wash her long honey colored hair.
“I’m not used to being so pampered,” Kelly remarked, as she they worked.
Windia smiled softly, “you are a princess, this is your due.”
Finally they began to help Kelly dress, first in white underclothing, then a beautiful royal purple dress, that looked like it was out of the Medieval age. After she was dressed, one of the women worked on her hair. Gathering it on top of her head, in a mass of curls, with a few framing her face.
“There,” Windia said, “you look like the princess you are.”
Kelly looked in the large mirror that hung on the wall and gasped, “I look like Cinderella,” she said in awe.
There was a knock on the door, “that would be your escort to the feast,” Windia said as she hurried to answer it.
Galhall stepped through the open doorway and smile pleasantly at Windia.
“I’m here for the princess,” he said and she smiled, before stepping aside.
Galhall looked at her and gasped in amazement, before recovering himself and giving a courtly bow.
“My lady,” he said holding out an arm, “may I have the honor of escorting you to the feast?”
Kelly tried not to gape at Galhall, he wore a flowing white and gold tunic, over white pants and gold boots. His long silver hair was pulled back in a ponytail, that fell halfway down his back.
“Have a good time my lady,” Windia said, as Kelly took Galhall’s arm.
They walked down the hallway toward the great hall in silence, finally. Galhall looked at Kelly.
“You look beautiful,” he said softly, “you resemble your mother greatly.”
Surprised Kelly looked at him, “you knew my mother?” She asked softly.
“I met her when a I was a young boy,” he said, “just before she discovered she was pregnant with you. She was not only beautiful, but gentle and sweet as well, you are a lot like her.”
Kelly smiled slightly, “I’m not sure how sweet and gentle I am,” she said.
Galhall stopped, before they reached the great hall, where the feast was beginning.
“I can sense the gentleness in you,” he said softly putting a finger under her chin and lifting it up, he bent down and captured her mouth. “Sweet,” he murmured, “just like I said.”
Kelly gasped and closed her eyes, at the feeling of his mouth against hers.
He smiled, before stepping away, then offered his arm again. “We better hurry,” he said “the guest of honor shouldn’t be late for her own feast.”
“We honor the return of Princess Kelly, of the Majikynd royal line.” Teir said as he raised his goblet. “She will deliver us and our cousins from the Lupions.”
The people attending the feast, began to cheer, before drinking heartily from their goblets.
Suddenly a tall man with gray hair, wearing a white robe appeared, and whispered in Teir’s ear.
“Now it is time for the council to begin,” Teir said and Kelly watched in astonishment as the great hall transformed itself. It became a large room full of chairs, with a podium set in the middle.
The tall man stepped up to the podium.
“Who’s that?” Kelly whispered to Galhall.
“That is Lord Berin, he’s the high chancellor of the Briwnes council,” Galhall murmured back.
Suddenly a bright light flashed on and their attention was turned onto Berin.
“Members of the council,” he began, “we are here to decide when the best time to strike the Lupions would be.”
He paused for a moment, and Kelly could’ve sworn he was staring at her. Suddenly he waved his hand and a large orb, appeared out of the air, to hover in front of his face.
“Tell us what we need to know,” he said, and the orb began to blaze brighter and brighter, causing the occupants of the room to shield their eyes.
Suddenly a young woman appeared out of the light, she stopped before Kelly and smiled gently.
Although Kelly had never seen her before, she knew without a doubt that this was her mother.
“You have grown into a virtuous woman, my daughter,” the woman said. “You will free our people from the wrath of the Lupions. The orb has decreed that it is you who will lead the armies into victory, so you will not have much time to learn how to destroy them. But you will, you have much courage in you, and your magic is strong, you will prevail.”
She gently laid a hand on Kelly’s cheek and smiled again, then the light vanished, and she was gone.
She opened her eyes and realized she was lying on the floor, with Teir and Galhall knelt on both sides, watching her with troubled eyes.
“She’s coming out of it,” Galhall said, with relief in his voice, and the crowd that had gathered around, began to murmur.
“What happened?” She asked, and tried to sit up, wincing when pain slammed into her head.
Teir put his arm around her, supporting her back so she could sit.
“You had a vision,” he said, “the orb spoke to you, didn’t it?”
“It was of my mother,” Kelly said weakly, as the room began to spin. “She said that I was the one who would lead the armies against the Lupions.”
A woman pushed through the crowd, holding a goblet in her hand.
“Drink this my lady,” she said softly, “it will ease the headache.”
Kelly obediently put the goblet to her lips and drank deeply. Almost immediately the pain in her head eased, and she felt stronger.
Galhall moved to help Kelly up, but Teir was faster, he lifted her to her feet, causing Galhall to give him a dirty look.
“I will escort you to your room,” Teir said smoothly, grasping her hand in his.
They moved through the crowd, then Kelly caught a glimpse of Berin standing at the edge. For a moment his eyes blazed with hatred, but it was gone so quickly, she wasn’t sure if she imagined it.
Finally they reached the door to her room, and Teir stopped.
“When this is over, and the Lupions have been defeated, I want to court you,” he said suddenly.
Kelly looked at him in surprise.
“You’re a beautiful woman,” he continued, “and I find myself greatly attracted to you.”
He pushed her against the wall and quickly captured her mouth with his. Slowly he deepened the kiss, nibbling at her mouth, until Kelly moaned and pressed herself closer. They stood in the hallway kissing, until someone cleared their throat, causing them to break apart.
Galhall stood there, looking furious, “I’m sorry to interrupt my king,” he said in a voice tight with anger, “but the warrior’s council can’t begin without you.”
Teir turned to Kelly, “we’ll continue this conversation another time,” he said, then gently brought her hand up, kissing it.
He began to walk down the hallway and Galhall gave her an unreadable look, before following along behind him.
The next morning, just after Windia had helped Kelly dress, someone knocked on the door. Galhall stood there, “it’s time for your training to begin, princess,” he said. “You might want to change into something besides that frothy dress you’re wearing.”
He stepped back out in the hall and closed the door as Windia rummaged around in the bureau.
“Here we are my lady,” she said, pulling out a T-shirt and some pants.
She handed them to Kelly who quickly got redressed, then opened the door and stepped out into the hallway.
“After you, princess,” Galhall said and followed her down the hall. She thought she heard him murmur, “nice ass.” But when she turned and glowered at him, he gave her an innocent look.
Finally they reached a large arena, where a practice area was set up in the middle.
“Three are three types of white magic. Any good magical creature can do.” He said, “light magic, which are small spells and incantations that all low level magic creatures can do. Spiritualist magic, which is the type the Seers and Magi have, and eminent magic, which is the type that all the high level magical creatures can do. Since you are a Majikynd princess, your magic is eminent, you just have to tap into it.”
He flexed his hand causing a fireball to appear, then he flung it quickly at the target, hitting it right in the center.
“Close your eyes and concentrate,” he said, “find your magic and centralize it toward your hand.”
Kelly did and gasped when she felt a slight heat in her hand, a fireball rested there, glowing brightly. She flung it quickly toward the still smouldering target that Galhall had used, and hit it in the center.
“I did it!” She cried in delight, throwing her arms around Galhall and hugging him.
Suddenly they both realized that their bodies were pressed closely together, and Kelly gasped, looking up into Galhall’s eyes. A hot look of desire was in them, and slowly he leaned forward, capturing her mouth with his. He deepened the kiss, exploring her mouth with his tongue, as she moaned helplessly. Finally he broke away from her, breathing hard and for a moment they stared at each other.
“I think that’s enough lesson for today,” he said abruptly before turning and stalking out of the arena, leaving Kelly alone and confused
“She will bewitch you my king,” Berin said softly, as they sat in a private council, “she is Majikynd after all, and their women are know to be beguiling.”
Teir stared at him for a moment, “you go to far,” he growled menacingly.
Berin smirked, “do I?” He waved his hand and a small window opened up. “Look and see what the princess and your champion knight are up to.”
Teir looked through the window, his eyes widening as he saw Galhall and Kelly kissing.
Berin leaned over, “see how they betray you, my king,” he whispered in Teir’s ear.
He stepped away from Teir and summoned a inky black ball. Teir turned, and saw what was in Berin’s hand, but before he could react, Berin sent the ball forward. Teir fell to the ground as it covered his face, gagging and writhing in pain. The black magic in the ball quickly absorbed itself into his skin, until it had finally vanished. The only evidence left, was the slight glowing of Teir’s eyes, as he stood up, waiting for Berin’s instructions.
Berin smiled smugly, “the Lupions have waited a long time to get into the Briwnes lands,” he said. “Finding the princess here, will be a bonus.”
He leaned closely to Teir, “you will go and disable all the wards,” he said. “Do it quickly and if anyone tries to interfere, kill them.”
Teir nodded his head mechanically and drew his sword, before walking out of the throne room.
Berin chuckled with evil glee, then drew a door in the air, going quickly to where the Lupions army waited.
Kelly sat on a stone bench in the middle of the gardens, lost in thought, when a shadow fell over her. She looked up and saw Galhall standing there, for a moment they stared at each other in silence, then Galhall spoke.
“I shouldn’t have run away earlier,” he said, “Teir is the closest thing to a brother that I have, I felt like I betrayed him when I kissed you.”
Kelly stood up, pressing her hands against his, “Galhall,” she said, “Teir kissed me, but that doesn’t mean that we’re together. You did nothing to feel remorse over.”
He began to speak but was interrupted by a strange howling noise.
Kelly turned and looked toward the palace, “what was that?”
“Lupions,” Galhall said harshly, then summoned his armor and sword.
“How did they get here?” Kelly asked in a panic.
“I don’t know, but I have to get you to safety.” Galhall said, grabbing her hand and pulling her through the gardens.
“What of Driscoll and Teir?” Kelly asked fearfully, but Galhall just shook his head.
“My first duty is to you,” he said, “they can fend for themselves.”
Quickly they ran through the gardens, away from the palace. Kelly cringed when she heard the screams and howls erupting all around them.
“Someone must have disabled the wards,” Galhall shouted frantically.
Suddenly a huge man with the face of a wolf, leapt in from a doorway, blocking their path.
“Handris,” Galhall growled, brandishing his sword.
Handris, smiled ferally, revealing sharp yellow teeth.
“Hello knight,” he rasped in a deep growl, “we meet again.”
“This time, I kill you,” Galhall shouted.
Handris unsheathed his sword, “not if I kill you first,” he said then looked at Kelly, “by the looks of your companion, she’s the long lost Majikynd princess. Commander Quian will reward me well for both her, and your head.”
He charged at Galhall, who met him sword to sword, warily they circled, looking for an opening to strike. Handris bellowed a Lupions war cry before swinging his sword at Galhall. He smiled in satisfaction, when his sword bit into Galhall’s shoulder, going almost to the bone, causing him to gasp in pain and drop his sword. Slowly Kelly palmed a fireball, then threw it at Handris as he moved in for the kill, it hit him between the shoulder blades, making him to howl in agony, then disintegrate. Kelly rushed forward, as Galhall began to topple, catching him before he hit the ground.
She frantically tried to stop the blood, that gushed from his wound.
“I need to get a healer,” she cried out in panic.
Galhall shook his head, his face pallid from blood loss.
“If you return to the palace, the Lupions will capture you.” He whispered weakly, “you have to escape, now.”
Kelly shook her head, as tears ran down her face, “I won’t leave you,” she said vehemently.
She looked down at Galhall, who had gone still, eyes tightly closed. “Don’t die,” she whispered brokenly, laying her head on his chest. “I love you.”
Suddenly a bright light flared around them, bathing them both in its soft glow. Galhall gasped and Kelly watched in amazement as the wound, healed itself quickly, leaving only a faint pink scar.
Galhall opened his eyes slowly, “you healed me,” he said as he hugged her tightly to his chest.
“How?” Kelly asked in amazement
“When you said you loved me,” he said, “it formed an Amorietta, a spell that binds the magic between two people together forever.”
Slowly Galhall got to his feet, and helped Kelly to hers. In the distance they could hear the clash of swords and Kelly looked at Galhall, before summoning armor and a sword.
“I am meant to drive the Lupions out,” she said, “I can’t do that if I run away.”
Galhall nodded reluctantly, “we’ll fight together,” he said quietly.
Determinedly they started toward the battle.
Galhall quickly threw himself into the midst of combat, taking on two Lupions at once, out of the corner of his eye he saw Kelly kick the feet out from under one of the Lupions before finishing him off with a fireball. Satisfied that she could hold her own, he brought his attention back to the battle at hand. Back to back, Kelly and Galhall fought, quickly cutting through the Lupions as if they were nothing.
Kelly saw Driscoll fighting on one side, and a line of Briwnes warriors fighting on the other. Quickly they cut down the Lupions, until a call for retreat sounded and the remaining Lupions quickly disappeared through a door.
“Do we follow them my lord?” One of the Briwnes warriors asked, his sword still in his hand, red with battle dew.
Galhall shook his head, “we have a traitor in our midst, we must find out who. We will face the Lupions again soon enough.”
The crowd of warriors around him murmured at his words.
Suddenly something occurred to Kelly, “where is Teir and Berin?”
Galhall looked around, “Teir would never allow the Lupions to invade our land, without being there to drive them out.” He looked at Kelly, “something is very wrong.”
She nodded, “I think I know who might’ve betrayed us,” she said, then led Driscoll, and Galhall toward the palace.
They ran into the throne room, stopping with a look of shock. Berin sat on the throne, drinking nonchalantly from a gold cup, while Teir stood docilely beside him, eyes staring forward vacantly.
He smiled evilly and raised his cup when he saw the trio enter the room.
“I wondered how long it would take you to miss your king,” he sneered.
Galhall stepped forward, his hand on the hilt of his sword.
“What have you done to Teir?” He hissed in anger.
Throwing the cup aside, Berin stood up and unsheathed a knife, before he walked over to where Teir stood and let the point rest against his throat.
“Teir is my slave now,” he said, “I can do whatever I want with him and he can’t stop me.”
He smiled wickedly, then looked at Kelly, his eyes burning with hatred.
“I almost had his complete trust,” he said, baring his teeth ferally. “But then you came along, and seduced him with your Majikynd wiles.” He took a step forward and pulled a Lupions blaster out of his pocket, “now you are going to die.”
Kelly screamed as he pulled the gun, wildly pointing it toward her, then everything seemed to happen in slow motion. Galhall grabbed her, and pushed her out of the way, as she saw movement out of the corner of her eye. She heard the blaster go off twice, causing someone to cry out in agony, then the thud as a body hit the floor.
Galhall quickly moved out of the way and she saw that Berin laid on the floor, his eyes staring up sightlessly at the ceiling. Teir looked at her, his eyes back to normal, and whispered hoarsely.
“You would’ve made a wonderful Briwnes queen.”
Then he collapsed toward the floor, just as Driscoll caught him. Galhall and Kelly rushed forward, helping Driscoll lay him gently down. Galhall tore Teir’s shirt open, biting back a cry of dismay when he saw the burned skin from the blaster shot over his heart.
“When Kelly screamed, it brought him out of the spell,” Driscoll said, “he tackled Berin and wrestled with him for the blaster, it went off twice, hitting them both.”
Galhall yelled frantically, “summon a healer,” then he grasped Teir’s already cold hands in his own. “Hang on my friend, you’re going to make it.”
Teir smiled, breathing shallowly from the pain, “not this time my friend,” he said quietly, “this time I will go to the hall of the Goddess.” He shook his head, when Galhall began to protest, “I’ve lived a good life, now it’s time to see my parents again.” He looked at Kelly, who knelt beside Galhall, with tears shining in her eyes. “You love Galhall,” it was a statement not a question. She nodded, and sucked back a sob, “be good to him,” he said softly.
Suddenly he stiffened with pain, then closed his eyes and went limp, his hand falling out of Galhall’s grip.
The healer quickly ran into the throne room, kneeling beside Teir. She ran her hands over his body, before looking up and shaking her head. “The king is dead,” she said mournfully, tears running down her cheeks unchecked.
“We honor the king as he enters the hall of the Goddess,” the newly appointed high chancellor said, “he will take his place with all the other kings and queens that have gone before him. He will be rewarded for his heroic deeds, and will be a beloved of the Goddess for all eternity.”
He finished the solemn words, then stepped off the scaffold where Teir’s body laid. Then two Briwnes archers stepped forward, and shot flaming arrows into the brush gathered at the bottom, lighting it on fire.
Galhall stood stiffly, watching the flames as they raced up the scaffold and began to consume the body of his best friend. He felt Kelly beside him, and heard her sobs of grief, but he could only stand there eaten up by the guilt he felt inside. Finally he turned around and left the funeral, ignoring Kelly’s call as he stalked away.
Kelly started to go after him but was stopped by Driscoll, “let him go,” he said, “he needs time to heal.”
Later that evening Kelly woke to a pounding on her bedroom door, she grabbed the robe laying on her chair and donned it quickly, before crossing the room to answer.
Galhall stood there, clothes filthy, his handsome face streaked with blood and dirt. He looked at her, with eyes red and swollen, then without a word, stepped into the bedroom and pulled her into his arms, embracing her tightly. She hugged him back, not caring that the dirt and blood was rubbing off onto her. They stood like that for a long time, then Galhall stepped back.
“I should’ve been there for him,” he said hollowly, “maybe I could’ve stopped Berin from taking over his mind. I feel like a lot of people died today because of me, because I wasn’t diligent enough at my duty.”
He turned away and stared out the window, looking at the gardens below, blindly.
Kelly stepped forward and put a hand on his shoulder, “it wasn’t your fault,” she said softly, “if you had been there, Berin might’ve ensnared your mind too. You are a great warrior and a wonderful man, I wouldn’t love you if you weren’t.”
He turned from the window, gathering her up in his arms, “I’m so afraid I’m going to lose you too,” he said.
Kelly shook her head, “you won’t,” she said determinedly, “we are going to finish off the Lupions, then live happily ever after.”
Galhall lowered his head, capturing her mouth with his, kissing her frantically with all the pent up emotions inside him.
“I love you princess,” he murmured against her lips, and they kissed again, clinging to each other, as if they were afraid to let go.
“We need to strike against the Lupions now, while their still weak.” Galhall said the next day as he stood in front of the council, “they won’t be expecting us to attack now, not this soon after Teir died, they’ll think that we’ll mourn him before we go to combat with them. This way we have the element of surprise.”
The council murmured to each other, discussing the possibility of that action.
Then the new high chancellor stood up, “I think that what Galhall is saying is true, it is the only way to take the Lupions unaware.”
The other council members rumbled their agreement, “it is settled,” he cried, “warriors make ready, we go into battle tomorrow.”
The Briwnes warriors, cheered, and dispersed, to prepare for battle.
Galhall grasped Kelly’s hand and pulled her into a sheltered alcove, and began to kiss her wildly. She pushed him away, laughing, “Galhall, we have a lot to get done,” she said.
“Marry me,” he said suddenly and she looked up at him in surprise.
He looked equally surprised, as if he hadn’t meant to blurt the words out.
“Yes,” she said, then threw her arms around his neck, kissing him hard.
************************** “We fight today for freedom,” Galhall said, facing the line of Briwnes warriors, “ours and the Majikynd. Remember not to fear death, for you will be rewarded by the Goddess, and show no mercy.”
The warriors pounded their shields against the ground, “for the Goddess and for the king!” They yelled, as the dimensional doorway was prepared.
Galhall, Kelly, and Driscoll ran through the door, then stopped as it slammed shut behind them, cutting off the rest of the army.
“What’s-,” Kelly began when an arrow suddenly flew through the air and slammed into Driscoll’s shoulder.
He crumpled to the ground and with a cry Kelly knelt beside him, she tried to remove the arrow by magic but couldn’t.
“We have visitors,”Galhall said.
Kelly looked up and gasped, a crowd of Lupions warriors stood, growling softly, waiting for either of them to make a move.
She slowly stood up, hand on the hilt of her sword.
They watched as the crowd parted and a Lupions warrior approached them, he was tall, and had his brown hair braided back from his vulpine face. By the gems twined in his hair, Galhall knew he must be the Lupions king Farine.
He stopped before them, a smirk on his face as he surveyed them.
“Welcome to my kingdom princess,” he growled, and Galhall felt Kelly stiffen beside him.
“This is the Majikynd kingdom,” Galhall said, in a voice filled with threat, “you are interlopers.”
Farine threw his head back and laughed, “we are conquerors, we were stronger then the Majikynd.”
He looked at Kelly with a sneer, “I will enjoy hearing your screams, like I heard your mother’s,” he smirked again, “maybe I’ll keep her, knight” he taunted Galhall, “with her as my consort, my children would have a better link to the throne.”
“Bastard!” Galhall screamed, drawing his sword and lunging at Farine.
Farine quickly cast a binding spell, catching Galhall in its snare and holding him immobile.
“Take the princess and kill the other two,” Farine said, before turning and vanishing into the crowd.
“Try to break through the wards,” Galhall gasped.
“I’m not strong enough,” Kelly cried, as she swung her sword at the Lupions, driving them back.
“You are, just tap into your power,” Galhall said.
Kelly closed her eyes, and suddenly a burst of light shot out of her, wiping out the wards. Galhall grunted as Farine’s spell broke and he fell hard to the ground.
“Sorry,” Kelly said and reached a hand out to help him up.
The Lupions warriors backed up a step as the wards broke and the doorway burst open, spilling out Briwnes warriors. Then with a roar, they charged forward, meeting the warriors with a crash of steel.
“We have to get to Farine,” Galhall yelled, then swung his sword up as a Lupions attacked him.
He kicked the warrior away, then brought his sword down, decapitating the warrior.
“If we kill him, that will send the rest of the army into a retreat.”
Kelly glanced at Driscoll, who with a grimace of pain had struggled to his feet.
“Go quickly,” he gasped, “I’ll be fine.”
They struggled through the crowd, Galhall leading the way, hacking through the Lupions warriors with ease.
Suddenly Kelly was separated from Galhall, and looked up into the grinning face of a Lupions.
“Hello princess,” he growled as he raised his sword.
Kelly lunged at him, but he easily batted her sword out of her hand, then with an evil laugh, pressed the tip of his sword against her throat.
“I’ve never killed royalty before,” he snarled and Kelly closed her eyes, waiting for death.
There was a swooping noise, then she felt hot blood spray on her face, she opened her eyes and saw Windia standing before her, pulling her bloody sword out of the Lupions back.
“Thank you,” Kelly said, and Windia nodded.
Kelly retrieved her fallen sword, then looked for Galhall, she spotted him immediately, fighting with Farine.
She ran forward, using her magic to clear a path, she was followed by Windia, who put a restraining hand on her, when she moved to help Galhall.
“This is his fight,” she said simply and Kelly reluctantly nodded.
Farine swung his sword at Galhall, who lunged to the side, then he twisted around quickly and brought his sword down on Farine’s arm, cutting it almost to the bone. Farine roared in pain and dropped his sword, he quickly fell to his knees before Galhall.
“Mercy!” He cried in terror.
Galhall stared at him in contempt, then brought his sword quickly up, cutting Farine’s head off with one swoop. For a moment, Farine’s headless body stayed in its kneeling position, then it fell over to rest next to its head.
The Lupions gaped with surprise, then as if realizing their leader was dead, the sound for retreat was frantically called.
The Briwnes quickly began to pick off the fleeing Lupions, and a melee ensued. Then as suddenly as the battle began, it ended. A few of the Lupions managed to gate out of the battle, but most laid dead at the feet of the Briwnes.
Galhall raised his sword and roared with triumph, echoed by the Briwnes, who pounded their shields on the ground.
“Praise be to the Goddess!” someone yelled, and more Briwnes began to take up the chant, until the ground shook with their cries.
Galhall hugged Kelly, then quickly kissed her on the mouth, before they pushed through the crowd to where Windia was healing Driscoll.
He grinned when he saw them, “you did well,” he said to Kelly, “I knew you would.”
Kelly hugged him carefully, making sure not to hurt the still tender arrow wound, then the four of them walked through the celebrating Briwnes, toward the majestic city of Kella.
Kelly looked around in dismay as they entered the city, twenty-five years of Lupions rule had taken its toll and the few citizens she saw, looked defeated and humble.
Suddenly an old woman saw Kelly and her eyes lit up with recognition.
“Praise be to the Goddess, the princess has returned,” she cried and fell at Kelly’s feet, weeping.
Kelly knelt and the old woman looked at her in joy, “I was your mother’s nurse, I was to be yours,” she said softly. “I never thought I’d live to see the day when you returned.”
Kelly gently helped the woman up, then turned and faced the small crowd that had gathered in the city’s square.
“Is this all of you that there are?” Kelly asked and a short man, with gray hair stepped forward.
“Some of our people fled to other lands princess,” he said, “but most are in Avelonie, in hiding because they have been outlawed.”
“Let the word spread, that the last princess of the Majikynd has returned and peaceful days are upon us.” Driscoll said, stepping forward.
The cheers that erupted were deafening, and the crowd surged forward to touch Kelly.
Suddenly the pounding of hooves on dirt made everyone turn around. A group of horsemen were riding hard toward the city, from the direction of the woods, led by a man with blonde hair.
“It is the high priest Bon,” the old woman whispered reverently.
The crowd of people parted as Bon and his men halted their horses, dismounting quickly. He strode over to where Kelly was standing, staring at her with an unreadable expression.
Finally he spoke, “the long lost princess has returned,” he said in an almost mocking tone, “and freed the Majikynd from their captivity.”
Kelly just stared at him mutely, but Driscoll pushed forward, glaring at Bon.
“You will show some respect,” he said sharply.
Bon stared at him, recognition in his eyes, “so you did survive Driscoll,” he said, “I wondered if you had. Tell me, where did you hide yourself when your people needed your help?”
Driscoll stared at him with contempt, “I would ask the same of you Bon,” he said, looking pointedly at the troop of armed men, “why do you have the royal guard? And where were you when the Lupions attacked Kella?”
Bon began to stammer, “I had to make sure there was some kind of influence left for the people,” he said.
Driscoll looked around, at the rubbish littering the streets of the once fine city of Kella, then at the looks of defeat permeantly etched on the faces of the people.
“I can see how much influence you had,” he said quietly. “But now that the princess has returned, that will change, Kella will become the beautiful city it once was, and Avelonie will be restored to its former beauty.”
The crowd began to cheer again, and Driscoll turned to lead his three companions to the castle on the hill.
Bon blocked his way, “who are these two mongrels with you?” He asked in disdain, staring at Galhall and Windia.
Driscoll began to speak, but suddenly Kelly burst out in anger, “their not mongrels, you contemptuous bastard, this is my fiance and my friend, they’re Briwnes, ones that just helped save your ass, I might add.”
Bon looked at her in horror, “the royal princess of the Majikynd can’t marry a Briwnes, it is unheard of. The bloodline must be kept pure.”
Kelly gave him a cold look, “are you saying that I can’t marry who I choose?”
Bon smiled smoothly, “it is law, princess, and not even you are above it. If you want to marry this mongrel, then you must abdicate your crown. Because you can’t do both, it just isn’t done.”
Kelly looked at Galhall, who hadn’t had been quiet the whole time, but gave her a look that said he would support whatever choice she made. Then she looked at Driscoll, and she knew what she had to do.
“Fine,” she said, turning back to Bon, “Driscoll is the next in line for the crown, at least I know the kingdom will be safe.”
Bon looked at her in surprise, “are you saying that you would rather be the wife of a common knight, then queen?”
“I’m saying that I would rather be with the love of my life,” Kelly said, then turned to Driscoll, “you are king now uncle, I abdicate the throne.”
The crowd was quiet for a moment, then suddenly someone shouted, “long live the king!” And it erupted in cheers.
Kelly kissed Driscoll, the stood back and let the crowd sweep him away, toward the castle. Bon cast a angry look at Kelly, then scuttled away quickly when Galhall put his hand on the hilt of his sword and stepped forward.
“Are you sure that you want to give up being a queen for me?” He asked Kelly quietly.
She smiled and nodded, “I’d rather spend my life with you.”
He gently grasped her head between his large hands and kissed her, then murmured quietly, “let’s go home.”
They turned and quickly gated back to Paladiane.
A week later they stood before the high chancellor as he wed them.
“By the power of the Goddess, I join these two in matrimony,” he said, sprinkling holy water on them. “They will be united together until death takes one of them home.”
He raised his hands and shouted to the assembled Briwnes, “may I present, the Lord and Lady of Galdale.:
The crowd began to cheer and he said quietly to them, “may your union be blest forever.”
The reception began and Galhall watched as Kelly was claimed for dance, by what seemed like every man in the kingdom.
Suddenly the high chancellor stood up, “the Goddess has finally picked our new king,” he shouted, causing everyone in the crowd to quiet.
He held out his hand and a gold crown appeared, the crowd waited in hushed anticipation as he strode out onto the floor.
“All hail to King Galhall!” He shouted, placing the crown on his head.
“All hail the king!” The crowd shouted, then someone yelled “and all hail the queen!”
Galhall stood frozen with shock as the assembled crowd, all knelt on one knee before him, then his eyes met Kelly’s across the room.
“Goddess be with you my love,” she said then began to bow.
He quickly pushed through the crowd and caught her, bringing her back up.
“You do not bow to me,” he said quietly, “you are my queen and we will rule together as equals.”
They kissed, as the cheers from the crowd swelled around them, then walked to the thrones, and sat down, firmly claiming their royal duties.
“I got a fairiepost from Driscoll,” Kelly said a year later, as she sat with Galhall in the gardens, soaking her feet in the fountain. “He’s replaced Bon with someone he knows can be trusted, and is working hard to repair the damage done by the Lupions.”
She began to stand and Galhall hurried over to help her up.
She laughed slightly at the awkwardness that her large mound of a belly caused her, “he also said he was coming to Paladiane, to for the birth of the baby.”
Galhall gently caressed Kelly’s stomach, “this baby is very special for a lot of people, she will be the heir to one great kingdom and linked to another. It will be her who brings both our people together.”
Kelly placed her hand over Galhall’s, smiling in delight as the baby kicked.
“She will be a great leader as you are my love,” she said softly, “she will be the greatest queen the magical world has ever known.”
Galhall looked down tenderly at his wife, “she will unite the magical world forever,” he said and as if hearing his words, the baby moved under his hand.