A gong sounded as two elves in orange and yellow, faces painted in gold tones, opened a set of doors. A dozen elves entered the room. Some wore fine gowns, while others wore sets of leather armor. A large circle of chairs formed around a large magical brazier. A living model of the city of Beradain resided within its confines. It was like seeing the city from they eyes of a bird.
Each elf held a colored crystal within their hand. Few carried staves, others a sword at their hip or a bow. As they approached the living map, they created an almost completed circle. Four extravagant chairs stood empty in front a set of double doors, the Royal entrance to the council chamber. elves in orange and gold stood in front of the same extravagant chairs, waiting for the royal party to arrive.
The leader of the scouts, Taldyn of house Kilani was dressed in a clean set of leather armor, a sleeveless deep purple outer robe line with yellow was over his armor signifying his high rank and family ties. An oak long bow sat by his chair, a gift from her Royal Majesty Queen Solana for his loyalty through out the years. His younger sister Lilura stood behind him as his aide and second in command. She wore a deep purple dress with a yellow belt that resembled that which a human bard or gypsy wore.
Next to them was his daughter Nysa of House Kilani wore a dress of purple with a leather breastplate over the top. Nysa was the keeper of the archives. She was a battlemage, a warrior and magic user. She had a yellow sash that looked as though she had leaves stitched into the fabric. Her elements was earth and water, she had learned to change the water to ice in battle. With her stood her mother Liliana's ward, the Prince Adaan of House Myar, fourth in line to the throne of his cousin Solana. He was wearing a simple bronze colored tunic and breeches that he preferred to the finery of court. He had a set of elven short swords engraved with the royal insignia on the hilts sitting against the back of Nysa's chair.
The twins of House Do'lyl, Rysdan and Valda, stood on Nysa's other side. The last of their house of elven mages specializing in communing with the dead. Rysdan led their family in the place of their father, Rowen, who had died in the massacre of their family. Rysdan wore robes of dark blue and grey and held a staff with a gem as dark blue as his robes were. His sister Valda stood behind his chair with dark blue beads in her braided hair and a dress that matched her twin's mage robes.
Castien of House Eilstyl stood in leather armor and robes of a tan brown over it, most likely hiding the many daggers that he always had on his person. He was their guide to the nomadic wild elves, particularly the Paronai tribe that he was born from. A tattoo of a tribal sun tattoo was next to his right eye. It signified that he had gone through his coming of age within the tribe. His sister Liliana who had married into House Kilani stood next to him in a dress that was mostly red with leaves sewn around the collar with brown showing around the collar and sleeves. She had the same tattoo as her brother near her right eye. A purple shawl with yellow leaves
Their nephew, the Archdruid Asher of House Claddani, stood at the next seat staring at the living map. A seed of a Kanai tree that he always carried with him, curled around his arm like a snake would. His mind off far away on his task of finding their savior, Cressida of House Zareia. His cousin Elanea and her lover Kai awaited for him in the Elleas Isles in the forest. He wore the green and brown robes of his high station as a druid. His wooden staff with a greenish gaian opal stood at he side, the vine creeping along it.
Lastly, Luca and Serethiel of House Hlasek. Luca stood staring at the doors to the Royal wing where he knew his love was. He wore grand robes of red and white that marked his elevated position of being a journeyman mage of the school of Fire and Air as well at the husband to Callisto of House Myar, giving him the title of Lord. He had a staff with a red gem standing next to him. His younger sister Serethiel wore sultry clothes of dark red and black. It was no secret that she was suspected of dark magic, but with no proof no one could act. Serethiel also was a favorite of the Head Virilian Natharra, so whatever proof that was found of her dealings with dark magic would be quickly suppressed and the person silenced. To deal with her one would have to be ride of the poisonous, oppressive rulings of the Virilian Council.
Another gong sounded as two of the golden painted servants opened the doors to the Royal wing. The Oracle Maeve of House D'tigren in her angelic splendor, wearing a gown of silver and white, her platinum blonde hair with silver beads woven into its long braid entered as the mages cast charms of silence. Even though she was the older sibling she chose to become the god Belon's Oracle instead of leading the rivalling kingdom of Dilna. A circlet of silver rested on her head. Her eyes a milky blue but could still see with the use of a magical necklace. She was a master at an early age of Light and Life magics.
The High priestess and Princess Callisto of Myar walked in with her dark blue and gold kimono like robes. She had a mace at her side and daggers hidden up her sleeves. Her dark auburn was done with three braids on either side of her head weaving back behind her head into one with golden and sapphire beads weaved into it. A silver circlet adorn with sapphires rested on her head. As they entered the room Callisto went to the chair with a sapphire at the top of the chair while Maeve went to the chair with a pearlescent opal at the top. Everyone looked to the doors and bowed or curtsied as the final two entered.
Prince Consort Iselas of House D'tigren walked in with robes of dark blue and silver. He was the one being trained to become the next Archmage, he was a prodigy when it came to magic. He as skilled in the schools of Fire, Lightning, and was beginning to enter the school of water. He had part of his shoulder length hair pulled back with a silver clasp. A servant walked behind him with his head bowed and holding the mage's staff. It's was of a dark wood only founded in the far north of Dilna.
He led the frail form of his wife, the Radiant Queen, Solana of D'tigren, formally from the house of Myar. She wore an elegant dress of bronze and gold tones that made her red hair look like strands of copper. A circlet made of platinum and amber rested on her head. Her skin that once had an inner glow like most sun elves looked ashen with the unknown sickness ravaging her body. Iselas led her to the grand bronze chair, its circular back etched with the design of a sun. He helped her to the map and everyone held up their crystals in front of them. Each glowed as they lifted in to air. The spell to silence their council chamber completed. No sound would leave the Isélas helped Solana to her chair before turning to the rest of the council. Everyone sat down.
"We are gather here on the twentieth day of Caramhyst," Isélas stated, "To further discuss the menace known as the Drimana. Taldyn if you would."
Taldyn stood up and went to the center of the map. He put his left hand within the maps surface. Ripples extended from his touch. The picture moved across the village, over the walls, through plains and mountains. It's stopped at a tower shaped like a swords blade. It's surface, black, glowing, and windowless.
"The Aluna spire has one again become active," Taldyn stated, "with four of the six people alive able to activated it within this room; we suspect that the Drimana have made this their base. With Cressida still alluding our scouts in the opposite direction, we suspect Queen Melantha's involvement with its activation."
"You suspect our mother's involvement with the Drimana," Isélas asked.
"Yes we do," Taldyn answered, "the few of our scouts that have returned has said that she has been spotted with the cloaked woman that leads the Drimana. None of the scouts we have sent to the spire have reported in as of yet."
"What of my cousin Toren," Solana asked causing Valda to perk up, "What of him?"
"Nothing your majesty," Taldyn replied, "We think that he may have been captured."
"Or dead if they know what is right to do," Serethiel spat.
"Is something wrong with our cousin we should know about," Callisto asked.
"He shares the same tainted blood as you," Serethiel said pointing a well manicured finger at Callisto.
"Watch what you say Serethiel," Nysa said holding up a small dagger, "I will not hesitate to silence you."
"Taldyn keep you whelp controlled," Serethiel spat, "and take away her dagger she might point out an eye with it. I would hate something to happen to the sweet little Exile now wouldn't we."
Liliana, Castien, and Prince Adaan hissed at what the wild elves call the young Kilani warrior.
"Careful you majesties," Serethiel said condescendingly, "The young prince is turning into one of them. Maybe you should have chosen a different guardian for him."
"They are better than you ever will be," Adaan spat at her, "At least they have honor and loyalty. Can the same be said for you, the power hungry harlot of the court?"
Serethiel let out a sound that sounded like a growl and moved towards him. Luca stopped her from moving far.
"Be still sister," Luca said and nodded his head, "It is not the fault of the young prince that you are viewed as one. You activities have shamed us."
"You are one to talk," Serethiel spat as she wrenched her arm free, "You have shamed our mother and everything that she stood for!"
"Our mother was a traitor to the crown," Luca yelled at her, "She deserved her punishment. You would do wise to hold your tongue."
Serethiel let out a laugh. Everyone watched as the blood red in her eyes appeared. There was no reason to hide who she was anymore. Everyone reached for their weapons. Iselas and Callisto moved in front of Solana protectively. Magic coursed around Iselas hands.
"But why not follow her footsteps," Serethiel asked her brother with a wicked smile, "The glorae are so much more powerful."
"You have became tainted," Callisto stated, "Why would you allow such a heinous thing?"
"To end the tyranny of abominations like those of House Myar and D'tigren," Serethiel answered turning to the Queen and her family, "and to bathe this land in a darkness so thick the light will never break through it again."
Callisto raised her hand to the crystals causing her crystal to shoot into her hand.
"Guards," Callisto shouted.
Guards in full plate armor ran into the room at the priestess' shout. Callisto pointed to Serethiel and they surrounded her. Callisto smiled smugly at her. Castien stepped forward with them.
"You won't be much help to them," Serethiel said, "or have you not told them of your own secret, of your own indiscretions?"
"My own secrets are not what is being examined," Castien said, "It is your own."
"Yes but shouldn't they know how you have taken the Oracle as your lover," Serethiel asked, "Or how your last lover was the dark daughter herself?"
Everyone, with the exception of Maeve, Nysa, Liliana, and Asher looked shocked at both of those revelations. Iselas looked at his sister in shock as she stared at the map. Her gaze had not turned from it since the mention of her mother Queen Melantha.
"Guess you haven't," Serethiel said with a laugh, "or that you are the father to her two children? Luca, did you ever wonder why he was so firm that it was he that watch over us as we grew?"
Luca looked between his sister and the man that raised him as his ward.
"Is this true," Luca demanded as his wife stood.
"Luca" Callisto said.
"No tell me the truth," Luca yelled looking at Castien, "Are you our father?"
"I am," Castien answered, "If I had openly admitted that the two of you were my own children you would have been murdered as babes. Serethiel would not have been allowed to be born. Tensions were already high after Liliana married an outsider and I left to join the Queen's council. The two of you would have been killed for your mother's crimes. You would have been labelled Exile!"
Luca's stormed out of the room when two guards moved to restrain Serethiel. Callisto moved to follow but a golden covered hand being raised stopped her.
"Enough, Callisto sit down," Solana ordered, "As proof has finally been given, the dark mage Serethiel will be tried and Purged. Take her away."
"They will never find the cure to what ails you," Serethiel laughed as they began to drag her away, "I have made sure you were well poisoned!"
Everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at the sorceress. She continued to laugh as Iselas motioned for them to take her away. Castien looked at Maeve who nodded that she would tell him of anything else that occurs. He followed the guards out of the room as the servants shut the doors again. Callisto got up and walked over to her sister with Iselas and Maeve. Asher crossed the room as well with one of his kanai seedlings. Solana slouched back into her chair.
"How long," she asked as her sister and Asher used the seedling's life magic on her.
"A year if we are lucky," Callisto amswered solemnly.
"Asher," Iselas said, "I understand that Elanea and Kai are waiting for your rendezvous. I want the three of you to use anything within your power to bring the Tel' Amora back to us, even if it unwillingly."
"We will not fail," Asher said.
Iselas motioned that he was free to leave to begin his mission.
"You are all dismissed," Iselas said, "We will reconvene again in a weeks time to decide the fate of Serethiel."