To Those We’ve Buried (Working Title)

The following is a side-project done based on the novel I’m working on.  The idea of the challenge was to get a glimpse into the life and mind of a side/not-so-well-known character from your book.  I decided to go with Fudra’am, who is a main character in a tragedy that I’m working on…  The fact that it’s a tragedy is touched on here, and by the time this scene is taking place, has long since passed.  Hope you enjoy.

 

Aedrick was sitting by the corner. As the last of the Immortals to be born, he had now seen over ten thousand years pass by. A year for Aedrick was as a minute to the young mortals. He was now indifferent, it seemed, after so many millennia having passed, to the bigger picture. I couldn’t blame him though, as I’d fallen into the same indifference long before he did.

I hadn’t spoken in forever, my thoughts plenty enough to keep me company. Truth be told, it had been nearly eleven thousand years since Aedrick’s birth. Nearly twenty thousand years now since the Samhaad had created humanity. Even to the Immortals, as we had come to be called, the reason behind the creation of the mortals was lost.

I was never well-known in the history books, but there was one kingdom that knew me all too well. I had found a place in their history – I prefer anonymity, so I guess it was a good thing that both kingdoms were destroyed, razed to the ground and all histories of those kingdoms that survived was only by oral tradition, but my name survived in that tradition, where the Tale-Tells would speak in reverence of Fudra’am.

Such reverence and awe is ill-gotten, and I know myself to be completely unworthy. But story tellers will tell stories, and I will remain hidden in the wasteland known as Dalara.

I’m just tired, having given away my witty banter sometime hence. I’d long since learned that I couldn’t die, even by the hands of another. The gifts bestowed upon the firstborn of those first humans and those who are now called the Ancients were enough to see to that. Our immortal parent gave up their immortality at the conception of their first child, passing it on to us. None of our brothers or sisters gained our gifts, and so we began to slowly assimilate, creating our own culture over the eons.

I was the first of the Immortals.

My father was the king of the Faeries. He had lost the queen in a great tragedy. He called it a war between the light and the darkness. What I came to find out was that the truth was crueler, for she was the first of the Fae to choose the light when the two suns were birthed. She became the queen of the Elves, and because the king chose to stay with the darkness, he stayed king and was the first of the Faeries. She chose to leave his side.

It was a beautiful irony that my father would try to conceal the truth from me, for the truth could never be hidden from me. The bloodline of all Fae carries with it a genetic memory – we are born with all the memories and knowledge of those born before us. I’m not sure even he knew, however, for he was often referred to as the first of them.

I suppose I should tell the story of my last smile, which was wrapped up in my last hope. I once decided to take an interest in the affairs of man, in the early days following the Cleansing nigh ten thousand years ago now. I guess “early” is relative, but to be fair, it had been around 760 Annur Purgutie (AP) when the prince was born, and I was asked to render my services as an Immortal to be a mentor to him. The king accepted, although in fear, due to a promise he made.

My only aim was to see two of the most powerful kingdoms come to know peace, to become a beacon of light for the rest of the dark world to follow into the future.

My plan was to go through the prince of the Mountain Kingdom, who would be my charge. And the princess of the Sea Kingdom, who was to be taught by one of my former students, Meylia, the High Priestess of the Three Moons.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

And yet, I remained steadfast, beholden unto my belief that mankind could overcome itself.

Foolish though I certainly was, I carried on, Prince Byrtu my only concern. The prince’s mother had died in the few weeks following his coming into the world, her death attributed to an assassin. She was found after days of being missing, her throat slit so deeply it had been cut to the bone.

They couldn’t wait so long as to find the queen though, and so Meylia, thankfully, was there to care for and feed the boy in the absence of the queen. No one cared to notice that Meylia, dressed as a beggar woman, had seemingly come from nowhere. The king, grateful for her presence and feeing the prince, offered her anything she so desired.

Her request was simple, that I be brought to teach and mentor the prince. The king, true to his word, allowed it. Within days I was at the castle, a small being, barely an homunculus if I were to be honest, clothed in dark robes and hooded so no one could see my face. My hunched, elderly figure caused waves throughout the court as I entered. I found it all amusing, of course, but I couldn’t help noticing the look of fear in the king’s eyes. I wasn’t there for the king, however; I was there because Meylia asked this of me, and because Byrtu would be worth it, if we could teach him correctly.

I was then among the people of the Mountain Kingdom, mentor to the heir to the throne.

After the prince was weaned, Meylia disappeared again, returning to her duties as High Priestess of the Three Moons on the outskirts of the Sea Kingdom. Although she wasn’t born an Immortal, she gained the gift of immortality from the Oracle, who witnessed her sacrifice at the hands of the other priestesses, all of whom were dead in short time. But even the Oracle, in all of its distance from life, knew there was no amount of retribution that could atone for what she gave up.

To this day, even I shed a tear for her, having found myself visiting the temple from time to time to visit Meylia and speak to the Oracle. Besides the prince, the High Priestess was my favorite student. I was blessed to have been able to keep her. Through the Ritual of Sight I don’t have to speak for her to know my thoughts and be able to speak to me in return, even across the great distances.

But I digress.

The prince quickly became everything I had hoped he could be. Strong of heart and will, loving and compassionate, with a joy found in his subjects. He understood that no one could truly rule if those he meant to rule felt differently. Fearful subjects are what foreshadow a fallen kingdom. And the king was succeeding in this regard; thankfully, his son was more adept at earning and keeping the love of the people.

It might be pride, but I like to think I had a hand in this. Indeed, had his father raised him, he would have nothing but hate within him.

There was no man I’d ever met like the prince. No mortal could be what he was. And yet, he was the light I had wished for since the Samhaad created humanity. He was the hope.

If Meylia was right, the princess of the Sea Kingdom was his match, the same princess who, in the years the prince was becoming the leader he needed to be, had become the priestess who would take charge of the kingdom as the General of the Army of the Sea Kingdom. Only a priestess of royal blood could do this, and it only happened once every five generations.

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