- Aurora Aeternum - Kilkis Seres Palace -
Aura kept her head on Helios's shoulder from a few minutes, looking at the ceremony, but not paying any attention to it. She had a lot on her mind, after all. She would leave to the Northern lands, and Helios would stay, this made her a little sad, but she understood that both had things they wanted to do. She was going to live her life to the fullest, for Helios, for Henry, and for Aurion. Helios holding her hand brought her back to reality, he asked her to dance with him.
Back when she was younger she had been interested in a boy a couple of years older than her, she wished for him to ask her to dance on the Spring Festival, but he was of a higher status and so he saw Aura as a simple peasant. He had broken her heart that night, doing something Aura would rather forget. But now? Helios had given her many reasons to trust him, to believe in him always, and so she took his hand and followed him to the dance hall.
She was not a great dancer, but she was not bad either, she carefully followed Helios's lead, always watching his eyes. What he said to her made her give him the most sincere smile she had given to anyone.
"Don't worry, one day I will reach the sky with you by my side. Our destiny forever intertwined."
The battle to gain the right to claim, and use, the Source of All Life had been won, and the world below the Sea of Clouds was finally restored. Families were once again reunited with those who they had lost and went back to their homes, finding them just has they had been before The End. Not many would have the knowledge of how this came to be, only those involved, and, perhaps, those close to them. It was a time for celebration throughout all the Floating Lands and the World Below. A time to remember those who gave their lives to reach the legendary Overworld, those who gave their lives in the battle between the late queen of Kilkis Seres and the Lord of Mystras, all the unsung heroes that had been lost amid the chaos that was unleashed when humanity made their presence knew.
This celebration was not for every citizen, though. Not for those families who had lost loved ones in the past couple of months.
The coronation of the new king of Kilkis Seres filled many with joy, others with sadness, a few with anger. Some friends didn't managed to attend the celebration, others were there, enjoying the presence of familiar faces. Aurora Aeternum for example, she enjoyed her last day on the Land of Arcana by staying at her partner's side, talking and dancing throughout the night. The Northern Judges kept attempting to reach their home with an astral projection spell, but each time the spell was dispelled. This made both worry for the situation on the Northern Lands and so the next day after the coronation they, along with Aurora, were provided winged mounts to make the journey, leaving the Land of Arcana, their friends and loved ones, behind.
Two days of travel with a few stops to rest was needed to reach the Northern Lands, to reach Heimdall the Divine City of Water. The sight that greeted the trio was not one they wished to see. The Cerulean Palace engulfed in flames and the royal soldiers forming barricades to prevent unauthorised people to get close.
It was apparent that the castle, and parts of the city, had been under attack, as most people close to the palace had been evacuated further away as there were people still fighting inside. The Judge Magister and her two associates entered the fray, finding battle after battle in their attempt reach the throne room. Countless bodies laid scattered all around, some of foreign enemies, others of the personnel of the castle. It took great effort to reach the throne room, only to find the once fair ruler of the city sitting on her throne with her own spear sticking out her chest, and two figures standing in the stairs leading to said throne. The two figures were the Arcadian dragon judges, Faloan and Silnakin Apateon.
The Judge Magister could clearly see that their objective, or at least that of Silnakin, was to retrieve the soul of the Tide Mother, only to be stopped by the sudden appearence of the trio. Asking about the whereabouts of the rest of the judges and the King of Kings, the Judge Magister learned from Faloan that they had been taken care off by the invaders, leaving only the four of them out of the thirteen from the Order. Before the elf could react, the dragoness launched her attack, only to be stopped by the Archangel's quick reaction, then Silnakin joined his sister. The fight went on for a while, ending in a stalemate as both sides had suffered severe wounds, and the trio was forced to retreat via a secret passage that led outside, only to be stopped by the Dragoness herself near the exit of the passage.
The Judge Magister knew there was no way all of them could leave, and as a last resort, ordered the Archangel to escape with the human woman as both of them had a promise that they had to keep.
The Dragoness allowed this to happen as her objective was the elf herself. Another fight broke up, a fight where the Faloan showed her true might as a dragon. The battle was long and difficult, but it was one that the Judge Magister knew she was going to be unable to win, her only wish was for her friends to get as far away as she could before her eventual fall. A powerful lightning spell was being directed towards the dragoness who was currently back in her humanoid form and pushing against it, slowly getting close to the tired elf until she was mere inches away
"Behold the noble Dra'tul who wished peace and unity between those who were not meant to meet again. Here is your peace, by steel's swift descent."
The elf felt pain when the dragoness used her sword to swat the hand that was being used to cast the spell, and quickly turned around holding said hand, but the intense pain that came next was even greater as the sword from the Dragoness pierced through her stomach, making her hold the blade with both hands while spitting blood. She was unable to move when the dragoness removed the sword in one swift move, her counciousness was beginning to fade into darkness, she could hear the dragoness behind her, but she couldn't make sense about what she was talking about. She did noticed that gravity was making her go forwards.
The last thing she ever tasted was the taste of her own blood. The last thing she ever smelled was the scent of death and ashes all around. The last thing she ever felt was the hand of the dragoness on her back and being pushed forwards. The last thing she heard was the loud roar coming from the dragoness behind her. The last thing she saw was the floor getting closer and closer, but by the time the Judge Magister's body made contact with the floor her eyes had become dull.
The battle around the city of Heimdall and inside the Cerulean Palace lasted until the next day.
- Divine City of Water, Heimdall -
On the year 3220 of the Third Age, on the first days of summer, news about the attack to the City of Heimdall, and the assassination of the benevolent Tide Mother, had spread all over the North.
"Today it is a sad day, it is a day of great loss, not only for those involved in the battle that transpired last night, but for those whose loved ones will be unable to see them once more. Last night, the city was attacked by a mysterious enemy, it was struck while its guard was down, unable to fully prevent the intense battle that happened. As everyone must have realized by now, the Tide Mother has passed away, her life cut short by one who she trusted with her life."
With loud gasps, cries of terror, sorrow and surprise among the crowd, Faloan stepped down from the small podium and walked towards two guards who were holding a kneeling person whose head was covered with a black bag over their head. Faloan grabbed the piece of cloth while turning to look at the citizens of Heimdall, a look of anger on her face.
"With great effort, and great losses, we managed to capture one of the people responsible for these events. Behold, the face of the one who took away the Tide Mother and your loved ones!"
In one swift movement Faloan lifted the piece of cloth, revealing the face of who had attacked the city last night. More gasps of surprise could be heard among the populace, but some were followed by cries of anger and hate as the face of the culprit was revealed to be none other than the face of Eliltari Ar-feiniel. Her face had some clear signs of cuts and bruises, but it wasn't like those would make it unable to distinguish the face of a well known person in Heimdall.
"Your eyes do not deceive you! This is no illusion, nor a mistake. Judge Magister Eliltari Ar-Feiniel is one of three people who were found in the throne room, hands still on the murder weapon. Alongside the Judge Magister there was another fellow judge, judge Sifrei "Ophaniel" Mond, son of Lucafriel Mond," Faloan said as she looked at the kneeling and silent form of Eliltari, "The third one, while unable to identify, was not a fellow fey, but a human. As you all know, creatures known as "humans" arrived after the land below the Sea of Clouds was destroyed, by the grace of the Tide Mother, the King of Kings and the rest of the esteemed rulers of the Northern Lands, we fey were tasked to help bring those humans to the Floating Lands, only for that help to be used to betray the goodwill of the Tide Mother."
Faloan was walking from one side to the other, arms crossed close to her chest, before she stopped to address the crowd once more.
"The one who had managed to convince the Tide Mother and the King of Kings to offer that help to the humans was none other that Ar-Feiniel herself! Probably with the plan to betray her already in her mind. Sifrei Mond and this human woman managed to escape from me and my brother, with only this one being captured. So," Faloan said as her eyes focused on everyone in front of her, "as of this moment, by the will of the few remaining Knights of the Round, I will take the role of Judge Magister, and I will sentence the traitor who took the Tide Mother away from all of her people."
The Dragoness then took out a medium-sized crystal from under the silk cloth around her arms and showed it to the crowd.
"For the attack at the city, countless soldiers' deaths, attack against fellow judges, and the successful attempt against the life of the Tide Mother, I, Faloan Apateon of Arcadia, Soul of the Desert Jewel, sentence you, Eliltari Ar-feiniel of House Eär, former Judge Magister, to have your soul taken from your mortal body, leaving you as an empty husk for the rest of your days and be unable to reach the other side of the Celestial Gate for eternity."
Just as Faloan walked closer to the former Judge Magister, she finally began to try and move away from the Dragoness, her mouth making movements but no sound coming out, her eyes looked terrified, her face filled with terror just as Faloan stopped and crouched in front of her and the crystal touched her chest.
"May your soul be forever out of the Pale Mistress' reach, and may you never be forgiven by the actions you committed against this city and its fair citizens. May your name be forever remembered as the name of a traitor to the North and the Tide Mother's trust,"
The former Judge Magister's eyes were wide and the look of terror only intensified as she tried to scream, her whole body struggling to move away from the strange crystal. A split second later the crystal began to glow, faintly at first, but glowing brighter and brighter with each passing second, and the body of the white haired elf stopped completely before it began to shake uncontrollably. This display was met with a few cheers, but mostly silence and horror, by the crowd. A minute or two later the body of Eliltari Ar-feiniel fell to the ground, unmoving, her eyes dull and lifeless, she was still breathing, but she was just an empty husk at this point. Faloan stood up, watching the crystal in her hand before turning around and showing it to the citizens of Heimdall.
"As of this moment Heimdall will be under the rule of the Knights of the Round until a suitable, worthy successor is found, the same will happen for the city of Exire, or until the King of Kings is found, as they had no heirs," Faloan said to the crowd, "we will need time to restore the peace that was wrongfully taken away from you. You will have our full support, just as we, the Judges of the North, hope to have yours."
Faloan waved at the two guards and they quickly picked the now souless body of Eliltari and took it away, There were many cheers among the crowd, tears and cries of pain too, but most of the people accepted the Arcadian Dragon as the new Judge Magister. The newly appointed Judge Magister turned around and looked towards the entrance of the palace were five silhouettes were standing, partially obsured by the shadows the walls casted over them, she recognized this group as the remaining Knights of the Round, her brother among them.
"You can't change the world without a little pain," Faloan said to herself as a sixth silhouette in dark armor joined at her brother's side, "Come to us, Oh King, whom the myths sing of. The world will be ready for your inevitable arrival."
- Divine City of Water, Heimdall - Cerulean Palace - Throne Room -
It had been a few days since the attack to the city, the announcement and judgement of former Judge Magister Eliltari Ar-feiniel. It wasn't surprising that the populace had been very supportive of her taking the mantle as the new Magister, not after the events of that day. Judge Magister Faloan Apateon was staring at the empty throne inside the Cerulean Palace from below the stairs that lead to it, her dear cousin was now gone, just like her husband. She had done what half of the Order would be against of, and only the other half had been on her side. The path between worlds was now open, humans, a few of them, at least, now wandered the roads of the Floating Lands of Istrora. Some came to start a new life, a new beginning. Was this a mistake? She was not sure. Was she going to do something about? Only time could tell. For now, she would wait and see. She had all the time in the world.
"What a strange sight, isn't it? To realize that the dear Tide Mother is no longer among us and the King of Kings is nowhere to be found. May the Pale Mistress bless their souls and lead them to the Afterlife," the voice of a hooded person behind Faloan said. "what are you to do but take care of the citizens of Heimdall and Exire for the time being,"
"It is quite alright, Aucran, the citizens will be safe. And my dear cousin got what she deserved." Faloan answered.
"Did she now? Word in the shadows tell of another reason. Something relating to-"
"To what do I owe a visit from the Unspeakables this late into the night, Aucran?" Faloan said to the individual, interrupting them, "You DO realize that if someone were to see you here it would mean you would be arrested on the spot, interrogated and-"
"Your concern is appreciated, Judge Magister, but worry not, no one will know we are here. As to the reason for our visit, well, a little bird told us about an interesting individual who recently arrived to our fair land from Arcana," Aucran said, a small smile could be seen in their face with what little moonlight illuminated the throne room, "An individual who, by all means, should have been exiled to the Underlands by orders of the recently crowned King of Kilkis Seres. You should know this person, or at least his name."
"And, pray tell, who is this person from Arcana who should be interesting to us?" Faloan asked.
"An elven man by the name of Yevgeni Malachite, illegitimate child of the late King Alexander and a peasant woman by the name of Isadora Malachite from the town of Semnar, half brother of the late queen Shiva de la Alexandria and uncle of the current king, Jynn Venas," Aucran said matter-of-factly, "I like to think that he was feeling nostalgic, or maybe he was trying to find a place to hide for the time being. His grandmother was happy to oblige, at least. In any case, you can do what you please with this information, Milady. I wish you a good night of rest."
The moment Faloan turned around to see this mysterious individual, they were completely gone. It was as if she had been alone the whole time. Yevgeni Malachite, the man who had been capable of detroying the world below by some unknown mean, before it being restored by the Dra'tul and her group. It would be an advantage to have such an individual close, and Faloan was not going to miss that chance. It wasn't strange for the judges to leave at random hours of the day/night so no one really questioned when the Judge Magister left on "important business".
- Semnar: Gate of the Frozen Wastelands -
It had been a few days of constant travel, but why walk rather than fly? no one would really know how to answer that question. The new Judge Magister had arrived at the early hours of the morning to the last town before the Frozen Wastelands, the town of Semnar, a few people were already up and getting ready to begin their daily routines, crops had to be tended, after all, one would think that such a feat would be impossible on such a place, but magic was a handy thing, even to those who could only use lower level spells to help tend to their crops.
Some recognized the Judge Magister, some others didn't, which was fine to Faloan, it was better that way. Asking for pointers and directions to the residents of the town, she managed to find her destination, a cottage close to the middle of town. Her steps were calm and without hesitation, slowly she walked towards the front door and knocked, it was time to wait for the one she was looking for. A couple of minutes later, the voice of a man told her to wait for a moment, and when the door opened, a gentle smile formed on her pale lips.
"Good morning, Yevgeni Malachite, my name is Faloan Apateon, Soul of the Desert Jewel, Judge Magister, head of the Knights of the Round and I've got a proposition for you."