Beginnings {to} Endings . . . |A Faire Story|

{ A character story . . . }

The land was a buzz of activity as people from all over the realms made their way to the City of Razin for the festivities. In three days Princess Caelita would be crowned Queen and take the place of her ailing father. In the tradition of their people, criminals of lesser crimes would be pardoned and released from prison and the grand feast would be open to all. Though many were excited about the feast, the greatest excitement surrounded talk about the Games.

Caelita stood at one of the windows of the South Gate and watched the people milling about the city. Her ladies were gathered around the next window, huddled together and giggling amongst themselves, a stark contrast to the frown etching itself over the Princesses features. “I don’t understand how you all can be so cheery,” she said.

The giggling died down. “Isn’t it not exciting, m’Lady?” Saralyn spoke up. The other ladies around her nodded eagerly. “There hasn’t been a festival like this for over twenty years. Before any of us were even born. You’re to be Queen. How can you not be excited?” Saralyn was Caelita’s oldest friend, a princess in her own right, and therefore was a bit braver when it came to speaking.

“You’re right,” sarcasm filled Caelita’s tone and she tapped her fingers on the window frame. “How could I not be excited about all the men who will die in the Games for a chance to be my partner?” Her brother had died in the wars five years ago leaving her father, the King, without an heir. According to law if there were no male heir at the time it came for the King to relinquish his crown, any man of good standing or noble birth was allowed to compete in the Games: a warlike battle where the one left standing would become King by marrying into the crown. It was one of the traditions she hated.

From their vantage point they could also see the registration line for the Game participants. There was anywhere from fifty to a hundred men already in line outside the colosseum. Caelita sighed and began to turn from the window.

A mixture of frantic and excited whispers suddenly sprang up from amongst her ladies that caused Caelita to give them her attention. “What is it?” Asking as she made her way over to them, trying to look out their window.

Saralyn barred her way. “It’s nothing. Come on. Let’s go find something more entertaining.” The other ladies were equally as eager to get Caelita away from the window, but the Princess was not going anywhere.

“Tell me what you’re looking at.”

The Ladies grew silent. A couple of them picked at their long dresses. Saralyn took a deep breath and spoke up. “It’s Na’Rayh. He’s in line for the Games.”

Caelita stopped. Her eyes went wide in shock and a heavy stone took the place of her heart. Na’Rayh was here in the city and he was signing up to die.

——————————————————

Na’Rayh was going to win. Before he, and many others, went off to fight in the war he had asked the Princess Caelita to marry him. They had been courting for months and back then they would have been free to marry. Everything changed when the Prince had died, but Na’Rayhs desire to marry Caelita had not. He knew what he’d have to do.

He hadn’t come back to the city since then, instead he had dedicated himself to traveling all across the Realm training to fight in the Games. Now that he was back he could feel the unease in the air mingling in with the excitement for what was to come.

Children played along the line where the other contenders for the Games stood awaiting their turn to sign their name. Women came to give them tokens of luck. As for the men in the line? They were all sizing each other up and weighing their chances. It wasn’t a game of sport and the only chance of survival was to be better than ones opponent. As Na’Rayh stood in line he saw a few people step out. Good, he thought to himself, one less person I’d have to kill.

It was almost his turn to sign up when a pair of palace guards approached him in the line. They were bigger than he, the golden eagle sigil bright against the red of their shirt and a sword hanging off the side of their belts. Their appearance caused a bit of a stir as the palace guard never strayed far from the grounds. Any matters in the City were left to the City Guards. Even the men on either end of Na’Rayh stepped back, wanting no part in whatever was about to happen.

“Na’Rayh, your immediate presence is requested,” said the guard on the left.

Na’Rayh spread his hands. “I haven’t done anything wrong.”

The guards grabbed his forearms and pulled him out of line. “Could you at least tell me what this is about!” Na’Rayh shouted, but they didn’t answer and he didn’t resist as they pulled him away. If the palace guards had come to get him, he had a pretty good idea as to why.

—————————————————-

The guards took him to the garden at the West castle gate. It was one of the smaller ones on the grounds. Na’Rayh would come here often with Caelita. The air was sweet and all around was lush vegetation and colorful flowers. Aside from the guards that had brought him here the garden appeared empty at first glance. He wandered around a bit, looking for who he knew was there.

It did not take him long to find her. Waiting in one of the stone enclaves was Caelita and she looked as lovely as he remembered in her flowing white silk and wind tossed hair. She was looking at him too almost in disbelief that he was really there. Na’Rayh quickened his pace to close the distance between the two.

As he drew nearer Caelita opened her mouth to speak but did not get the chance, for he took her in his arms and silenced her with the kiss he had been wanting to give her ever since he left for the war. It took her by surprise and she was the first to lean back and break the connection. “I didn’t think you’d ever come back.” She said.

Na’Rayh frowned. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were not happy to see me.”

“I was happy thinking you were out there alive somewhere.”

Na’Rayh pulled her closer as his eyes met with hers. “Five years ago I told you I was going to marry you. That has not changed for me. I need to get back before they close registrations.”

“What if you die?” Caelia asked, resting a hand upon his chest. “The deaths of all those men are already going to be on my hands, I don’t want you to be one of them.”

Na’Rayh frowned, his eyebrows knotting together slightly. He knew the risk and had accepted it. He had trained all these years with the goal of being the victor. “I will not loose,” his voice was quiet but firm. “I will not let another have you without a fight.”

Caelia had always known Na’Rayh to be slightly arrogant but there was something different about him just then. Something she couldn’t quite put her finger on. It caused her to study him more carefully and she saw a hardness in his eyes that had not been there before.

From the distance a cry was heard declaring that registration for the Games would be closing soon. Na’Rayh looked out towards the exit and then back at her. “I have to hurry.” He said. He placed a kiss upon her forehead and then he was gone.

Caelia clutched a hand to her chest as she watched him go. All the participants would be housed in the barracks of the colosseum until the Games in two days. The next time she would see him, he would be be fighting for his life.

To be continued . . . .


Skins used are from *Birth* ‘Shadow’ Fantasy Appliers  @ Fantasy Faire 2018

Special thanks to Rozen (Check out here work here!) for posing with me!

4 thoughts on “Beginnings {to} Endings . . . |A Faire Story|”

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