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The Guardian of the Gates

A Tale of Sea, Storm, and Sanctuary

By Sonia khan Published about a month ago 3 min read
 The Guardian of the Gates
Photo by Bill Eccles on Unsplash

Dappled sunlight danced across the soft forest floor as shafts of light played with the leaves high above. Towering beeches, oaks, and yews stood as sentinels of this ancient woodland. Autumn splashed its palette across the canopy—gold, brown, and red mingled with the persistent greens. Amidst these, bursts of summer colors—a vivid tapestry of purples, pinks, blues, and yellows—held out against the season’s change, accompanied by flitting pixies, sprites, and an assortment of low fae.

Heledd cherished these journeys from the kingdom to the coastal boundary. These slow days wandering through the forest offered a sanctuary of solitude, a stark contrast to the bustling streets of the hidden kingdom nestled deep in the woods. Here, with only the company of flora and fae, Heledd found peace. She relished the times around the new moon when her duties called her to the wall by the sea, and equally, the return through the woods, a welcomed respite eagerly anticipated.

Trailing a river downstream, a couple of days’ walk from the city, the tang of sea salt began to mingle with the earthy forest scents. Ocean mist soon followed, snaking through the trees with ghostly fingers. This was no ordinary fog but a deadly shroud that blurred the line where forest met the sea.

Thunder grumbled in the distance, and suddenly, as if on cue, the skies opened. Rain hammered down with such ferocity that even the stout oaks groaned under its weight, and Heledd knew she’d be soaked through by the time she reached the fort’s imposing doors. Only a sliver of light escaped the seam between door and ground, the rest lost to darkness. Close to the sea, the sky’s tumult stirred its oceanic sibling to rage.

Barging into the fort, Heledd’s shout of arrival drowned beneath the storm’s wrath. It quickly became apparent she was alone; the fort was deserted. Beds were disheveled, their sheets strewn about in haste. Chairs toppled beside tables laden with cold, abandoned meals.

Outside, the wind screamed, and waves crashed violently against the cliffs, a wild symphony of nature’s fury. They must be at the gate. Sprinting through the dim corridors to the armory, lightning briefly illuminated her path. Her heart pounded fiercely as she armed herself with non-metallic weapons, ditched her drenched pack, and rushed to the cliffside door.

The door flew open, ripped from her grasp by vindictive winds that seemed eager to hurl her into the sea’s gaping maw. Clinging to the cliff, Heledd inched along the perilous path. This storm was unnatural, a fierce squall like she had never seen. It was dark—pitch black—but memory and instinct guided her precarious steps. Fear for the forest fueled her determination to reach the gatehouse, now a beacon of light ahead. Another burst of lightning revealed the scene—a battle waged below and the devastating sight of an open gate.

Sea fae swarmed, overwhelming her fellow guardians. The gate remained unclosed, the kingdom’s safety hanging by a thread.

Heledd’s path was blocked by the relentless sea fae, the ocean encroaching further with each wave. She had to ascend, find another route from above. With stinging rain assaulting her, she scaled the slick cliffside. Handholds were few, footholds treacherous, but driven by sheer will, she reached the top, battered and bruised.

Brushed by leaves, reminded of her duty, Heledd pushed through the underbrush, racing back towards the gates. Her shoulder throbbed with each step, but desperation propelled her onward.

Finally, she arrived at the precipice above the tumultuous lagoon. The gates stood where the turbulent waters met the shore. With no time to hesitate, she leapt into the churning sea below.

The impact was brutal, the water a chaos of swirling currents. Fighting through the tempest, Heledd reached the rocks and staggered towards the gates, expelling lungfuls of seawater. She leaned heavily against the towering gate pillars, drawing strength from the forest behind her, feeling the ancient magic of her homeland coursing through her veins.

Rooted in the stone, connected to the forest’s spirit, Heledd summoned her deepest reserves of power. She closed the gates.

A surge of magic burst forth from her heart, weaving a barrier of impenetrable will between the mighty tree guardians of the gate. The kingdom was safe, shielded by her resolve and the enduring magic of the forest. Heledd had defended her home, ensuring peace would reign once more between the land and the restless sea.

Fan Fiction

About the Creator

Sonia khan

As a story writer, I am passionate about crafting compelling narratives that transport readers to new and exciting worlds. With a keen eye for detail and a vivid imagination,, I am driven by a deep love for storytelling.

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