TCoE: Backstory Blogs Pt. 3 - Kaynen
Kaynen is first introduced as a good friend of Eva's from since they were young. In the beginning, they had no idea how different their lives were about to become when Evaleana turned sixteen.
The Journey Begins
pages 17 - 20
“Evaleana!” called a voice.
The girl blinked as her brow furrowed in confusion.
“Eva!” Her vision started to blur as she felt her body convulsing. Promptly reality snapped her back from her mind. She swiftly blinked as the light blinded her. Standing in front of her was a boy. She stood up straight as she regained consciousness. “Eva?” She ripped her gaze from the ground to look into his bright blue eyes. His messy, long blond hair almost covered his face. Behind the strands were robust facial features, clean-shaven skin, and brilliant blue eyes. He wore dark brown leather pants with a white shirt.
“Kaynen,” she paused with a grin and narrowed eyes. “Didn’t take long for ya to catch up, huh?” she teased.
“Don’t avoid the question, princess,” he pressed. Evaleana rolled her eyes as she pushed him back.
She turned and started to walk toward the meadow. She smirked as she grumbled, “Don’t call me that.”
“Still not answering my question,” he muttered as he reached her side. She glanced over her shoulder at him, face twisted in perplexity.
“What question?” She asked.
Kaynen stopped in his tracks. “Really?” he chuckled. “You can’t just say it?” Eva turned to face him.
“I was somewhere else when you grabbed me,” Eva shrugged. “I was standing frozen in place as this wolf ghost approached me. I felt like I couldn’t move. I honestly didn’t know where I was when you shook me. So, what was your question?” she frowned.
Kaynen nodded as he spun on the heels of his boots to continue strolling. “I asked you what your parents were planning for us today.”
“Not even for your birthday?” he smirked.
Eva blushed. “How did you find out?”
“My mother never shuts up about you. She and your mom were in our house the other night planning your cake and gift,” he shared with a raised eyebrow. Evaleana couldn’t hide her grin as she moved faster from excitement.
“Stop.” She smirked. He sped up to walk by her side. “You can’t mind your own business, can you?”
Kaynen shrugged and kept walking, “I can’t help it.” He rolled his eyes.
Evaleana snickered as they reached the end of the woods. Thick thorns and undergrowth gradually faded out to a bright meadow at the treeline. Soft green grass blades shivered in the wind as the warm breeze rolled through.
The dusty path cut through the meadow, leading to a few small crop fields. There was one pasture to the right full of sheep. To her left was where the corn and wheat flourished brilliantly. The odor of manure and blossoming flowers nearby choked the atmosphere. Once past the pasture of sheep and the field of crops, she strolled by a small muddy pen full of pigs.
“So, what does your father need me to do today?” he asked.
“Well, I was about to get the pigs’ feed,” answered Eva.
“I will help you with that,” he replied, smiling.
Along the path was a small shed to the left. To the right were the stables with three horses that whinnied at the sound of people. Straight ahead was a two-story log cabin. Eva turned toward the shed, and Kaynen followed. Once inside, she found a bucket already filled with the slop the pigs ate. Eva went to pick it up, but Kaynen cut her off and took it instead.
“I can get it,” he defended with a half-smirk.
“Okay, show off,” teased Eva. Kaynen only smiled and shifted past her out of the small shed. Eva looked around and saw that nothing had changed since she left; her father’s tools were neatly put away, and the many bags of feed rested in the corner. Eva nodded and turned back to follow Kaynen.
“So, how is your father doing?” Eva asked, worry filling her tone.
“Well—better than—before,” Kaynen grunted with effort as he poured the pigs’ feed over the fence into their feeder.
“Did my mother’s medicine help then? Or does he need more attention?” she pressed.
“My father has always been a strong man... but I have never seen him this weak before,” confessed Kaynen as he turned to face her. “I think he’ll pull through.”
“Do you hear from your sister much, now that she is up north?” quizzed Evaleana.
“Yeah... occasionally, we get a letter. She is doing better, and she also is now engaged,” answered Kaynen, leading the way back to the shed and dropping the bucket where they got it. Kaynen turned around to face Eva.
“That’s good… to who?” asked Eva.
“I don’t know… some rich lord,” replied Kaynen, rolling his eyes at the last part.
This scene proceeds to introduce Trinth (Eva's "father") and Kathia (Eva's "mother") and Kaynen witnesses them acting strange to Evaleana. Kaynen tries to soothe Eva but soon leaves after they talk momentarily. Little did they know this would be the last time they'd speak for a while.
Kaynen soon finds out about Eva going missing when he visits again. He vows to Trinth and Kathia that he will find Evaleana and he will help bring her home. In chapter three he begins to display this growing uncontrollable fury. He ambushes a patrol of Domordian Soldiers and leaves one alive to interrogate.
Pages 52 - 53
“Where is the prison of the most wanted?” he demanded.
“I—I don’t know,” the soldier exclaimed, his voice shaky, “I was just forced to join the army; we lower ranks don’t know that stuff.”
“Where can I find a higher rank?” Kaynen interrogated.
“Well, you slaughtered one,” he quipped. Kaynen narrowed his eyes, and the man continued. “Well… they have Domorda Guard Towers, one north of Sohana Pines. They generally place a higher rank in the northern one to keep everything in check. Lots of fighting goes on at the Northern Tower, mostly Nothern Rebels from Tovin,” hastily explained the soldier.
“Good. Thank you for the information,” Kaynen replied, walking away.
“Hey! Wait!” the soldier shouted as he jumped to his feet. Kaynen turned around his sword, pointing at the soldier.
“What?” Kaynen snapped.
“Can I come with you? I don’t have a life in Domorda. I would rather kill The Shadow King myself. His army…” he paused. “They killed my family.” Kaynen still looked unconvinced. “If I go back, they will torture me for information about you and the attack,” explained the boy.
“What is your name?” Kaynen asked.
“Kyano,” the soldier answered.
“Fine,” Kaynen sighed, “But don’t get any ideas. When we get attacked, I expect you to fight by my side. If you don’t, I will make you die slowly.”
“I will,” he shook his head, determination shining in his eyes.
“Come on,” Kaynen stated, turning away and leading toward Sohana Pines.
After he gives him answers, Kaynen allows him to live and travel with him upon learning his name, Kyano.
Pages: 69 - 71
“Get them,” ordered a person above in the shadows of the ceiling.
“What?” Kyano asked, confused. Suddenly, five figures dressed in black fell from the ceiling above. Soon, strange people in tight black cloth surrounded Kaynen and Kyano.
“Who are you?” snapped a voice. It sounded rough but smooth, like a lady’s voice at the same time.
“My name is Kaynen, and this is Kyano; we are fighting Domordian soldiers, and we came here to get information. We are looking for a… friend,” answered Kaynen.
“A friend? And what kind of information are you looking for?” interrogated the figure that spoke first, their leader.
“She was taken by a… by a raven. We just left Tavar Village. We came here to find information on where they take the most wanted prisoners,” answered Kaynen.
“Well, I can tell you this, you won’t find your friend here,” replied the leader.
“Do you know where, though?” pressed Kaynen.
“Well… the most wanted ones, I would say you could find them in the Domorda Castle, in the dungeon. Or maybe in one of the Sithmora Castles,” explained the leader.
“Thank you,” Kaynen dipped his head.
“Who is this… friend of yours?” asked the leader.
“Who are you?” interrogated Kaynen. The leader dipped its head and removed the cloth around its face, though it didn’t cover the blue eyes. Once the mask was off, it revealed long brown hair pulled back into a ponytail. The stranger was a young woman, a teen. Kaynen was shocked; she looked to only be fourteen.
“I am the Queen of Tovin. We came here to fight against the King of Domorda, knowing that sooner or later, he would come after us, might as well help end it when others are fighting him. We are the Northern Branch of the Rebels. My name is Sivila,” she answered.
“Nice to meet you. And nice to know you are on our side,” Kaynen replied, dipping his head.
“Why is there a Domordian Soldier with you? And I repeat, who is this lost friend of yours?” pressed Sivila.
“He’s a friend; his name is Kyano. My friend I’m looking for; her name is Evaleana. She is—”
“Evaleana? You know, Eva?” interrupted Sivila. Kaynen noticed her eyes widen in excitement.
“Yes,” answered Kaynen, now worried.
“Oh, the gods be praised!” Sivila exclaimed with sheer joy. Her eyes started to tear up as she whispered, “She’s alive?”
“You know her too?” Kaynen questioned.
“Yes,” replied Sivila smiling. “I am coming with you to find her,” Sivila curtly declared.
Kaynen meets Sivila for the first time, who, if you read the Prologue: The End of the Life Before, we first met when Sotan was under siege. As far as Sivila has known all along, Evaleana was missing, rumored to be dead.
Pages: 76 - 78
Kaynen and Kyano traveled with Sivila, heading for Tavar Village to speak with Trinth; the trio was determined to find answers. They walked through Sohana Pines, keeping an eye out for any enemies. As they went through the wood, they continuously ran into soldiers, but they swiftly defeated them. Once they were outside of Sohana Pines and entering Tavar Village, they heard screaming. Lots of people let out ear-splitting shrieks at the top of their lungs from within the town.
“Mother,” breathed Kaynen as he bolted toward the settlement. Sivila and Kyano kept pace, but they stopped dead in their tracks when they saw some buildings on fire. Kaynen, however, kept running toward the inferno. He darted into a nearby building engulfed in flames. Ash hovered around, encased his skin, and burned his eyes when it penetrated his lack of defenses.
“Kaynen!” screeched Sivila as she and Kyano gave chase into the building. Once inside, they saw him on the floor of the room, kneeling over a limp body. He threw back his head and screamed his throat raw.
“No!” Kaynen cried, “NO!”
“Hey! Kaynen! We need to get out of here! The building is going to come down on us!” Sivila exclaimed.
Kaynen picked up the burnt body and carried it outside the house, followed by Sivila and Kyano. He carefully rested the corpse down on some grass outside of the house. The whole carcass burnt; the only thing remaining of the woman’s identity was a gold pendant around her neck. Kaynen hesitated to take off the necklace and slide it into one of his pockets.
“Get away from her!” snarled a man’s deep voice from nearby.
“Father?” Kaynen muttered as he glanced over his shoulder, tears in his eyes. The man who stood outside of their old house was tall but hunched over, coughing up blood. He stumbled with every step he took. He had short black hair cluttered together with dried blood as ashes sprinkled his head. His eyes were amber, once shimmering with light, now darkened with hate and weakness.
“I said, get away from her!” shouted the man. Kaynen stayed where he was and turned back around to glance at what remained of his mother. The man stormed toward him, gripped his shoulder, and yanked him back from the dead body. Kaynen fell backward, crashing to the ground. “Leave, and never come back!” he roared as he stared at Kaynen with disdain.
Kaynen commenced protesting. “But father—”
“No! Don’t call me that! I’m not your father. You’re not my son!” he spat. Within a heartbeat, he started to lean back and forth and losing his balance. Soon, his knees buckled from underneath him, and Kaynen’s stepfather crashed to the ground, blood trickling out his mouth as his body went limp. Kaynen closed his eyes and flinched away from the sight of the dead man and his mother.
“Who did this?” Kaynen demanded weakly. After a moment or so, he rose, and his eyes narrowed as his hands balled into fists; he glared around, searching for the evil being. “WHO?” Kaynen bellowed with his voice ragged and vengeful.
“Kaynen…” Sivila called. He looked toward where she pointed her finger, across town. His eyes burned with hatred as he saw a dark cloaked figure. It stood there, facing them, a ruby smile stretched across its pale face. Behind the character was the town hall, now falling to ash.
“You! You are going to pay for this!” Kaynen declared, his voice scratchy from the polluted air and screaming. Despite his struggle to speak, his tone was sharp with rage. The dark figure continued to smile.
The figure promptly waved its arm in front of itself – whoosh – and it vanished in a cloud of smoke. Kaynen let out an outraged yell as he shook his head in dismay.
“Kaynen… we need to talk to Eva’s father. Surely there is something he knows,” declared Sivila. Kaynen rose slowly and headed across to where they entered the area. There, they found an old dusty path.
“Follow me,” ordered Kaynen, his voice a little scratchy but determined.
Here Kaynen first learns the truth that who he has always believed to be his father, isn't really his father. He takes the locket his mother wore and carries it with him as he continues his journey. To discover who his real father is, we have to keep following his story from The Deity Jewels to the super edition, Shadow of Secrets. In Shadow of Secrets, Kaynen finally finds his calling and also stumbles across his real father and will soon learn of his true long-lost family.
Shadow of Secrets
TO BE CONTINUED...
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Mel E. Furnish
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