Disclaimer: This is a story of pure fiction. If you are not allowed to read this in whatever part of the world you are living, then try not to get caught, and legally you shouldn't be reading this. If you are not 18 or older then again, do not read, lastly, this will contain gay sex between consenting people and if this offends you, then click back and ask why you're on here in the first place.
This story is property of myself, the author and may not be copied or used on other sites without my express permission. All characters are fictional.
Note: Each line break denotes going to the perspective of a different character.
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The trees had stopped whispering to Kale as soon as he had entered Trevailier Forest. This land was under the rule of the Fey that lived here and he was not welcome. He snorted at that thought. He knew the truth about the eastern Fey. A truth he suspected that the Western Fey knew also. Why they hadn't reacted or interfered, Kale was still trying to fathom.
Brushing aside the thought, he concentrated on finding Kiri. A chill up his spine warned him of impending danger and he dropped to the ground, tucking his head in and rolling to his feet. A smouldering burn mark where his head had been flickered upon a tree trunk.
From out of the darkness, eleven Fey surrounded Kale. He was outnumbered, and not strong enough to defeat all eleven, but he would go down killing as many as he could.
"Kale?" a slight, feminine Fey asked, approaching him cautiously.
"Move away from him Neela. He is a traitor and returning back here is punishable by death. You know this law!" a burly silver headed fey ordered, overshadowing the slight fey. She cowered, bowed her head, and moved back into position.
"Hello half-breed," the burly Fey said, staring with contempt at Kale.
Kale looked into the eyes of his old rival. "Bullying at your age, Talon? How childish. If you're the next to become Elder after my father, then I pity the people for your lack of maturity".
Kale never saw it coming. A hard jab to the stomach left him gasping for air as Talon moved like a blur. "Test my patience and I will make your death long and painful".
Invisible hands wrapped around him "Hello Kalemendari," a deeper, older, voice spoke.
The eleven Fey straightened to attention but maintained their battle readiness around Kale.
"Father," Kale whispered in a strangled voice. He futilely tried to warn the Fey around him, but the binding that his father had placed upon him all those years ago held strong and true. The man was an abomination, and Kale, who was of his seed, knew the truth.
"It is Elder Rain to you boy; familial ties were cut when you left. How is mortality treating you?" A sneer coloured his voice at the last statement.
Kale glared at his father, whose face was as youthful as the Fey who surrounded him. He had walked away from the forest with his life spared, because his father still believed Kale was the chosen Avatar, and therefore a pawn to be used when the time came. Prophecy had spoken of a child of two worlds, and Kale's mother was from the Prey society. And, Kale was the first child ever born of a Fey and Prey cross, the beginning of the discrepancies, but one that the Elder Rain declared was a miracle. There were also the strange abilities that his father held, another discrepancy made in hindsight. Kale now knew better.
He had followed his father one night, hidden in shadows, becoming one with the forest. It was a unique talent his father and he both held. He followed down a path into the heart of the forest, where the Elder Tree stood. He watched as his father's hand glowed an eerie blue, and felt the wrongness of it, as the hand dipped into the tree. A face appeared out of the bark. It screamed, and Kale watched horrified as his fathers face morphed into a Ciaran, or what the Predator/Prey societies thought of as the Ancients. Inside the bark, the face of the Fey Elder, the one he had considered his true father, lay trapped, screaming his torment.
How had no one ever known about this? The tree had never felt wrong, nor had the surrounding trees whispered the unnaturalness of this act. Then, Kale felt it. He watched as his father drew energy from the ground, using the trapped Fey as the focal point. It wasn't the power of the elements, but the pure essence of the Architect. Trevailier forest was the font of one aspect of the Architects power called the Feminine.
The Feminine was the power of creation, rebirth, transformation and the ability to alter the design of the Architect. It was the power behind the old tongue. Words gave the old tongue structure or direction, but it was the Feminine that gave the words power to transform or mould to the wielder's desire.
The Architect was a dual power. The power of Masculine was the balancing and opposing force. This essence maintained the stability of a shape or structure. It was the hidden power of death. Where the Feminine started life, the Masculine ended it. The Masculine was the bones, while the Feminine was the flesh and blood that covered the bones.
Kale watched as the face of his true father drew on feminine energy. Without the balance of the Masculine power, his father needed regular doses to shape shift his features into the Fey Elder he had trapped. After all, the power to lie to the natural design of the Architect was a powerful thing indeed, especially by one that was not born of this world. Using the power of the Feminine, he had made the Fey Elder a permanent part of the Elder Tree as most of the Elders from the distant past were buried beneath its roots. The tree recognised, and therefore accepted, the true Fey Elder.
His father was an impostor, and Kale had the blood of the Ciaran running through his veins. He was not a true Fey. All the Fey skills Kale had maintained had been artificially made with the help of the Feminine, and structured with his mother's blood.
His first mistake, had been confronting his father on the spot. The second; threatening to tell the entire Fey community. His last, not running when he had the chance.
Using the old tongue and the power of the Feminine, his Ciaran father bound Kale in silence, so no word of what he saw tonight could spill from his lips. Instead of killing him, his father still had plans and believed Kale would become the next Avatar and therefore embody the full potential of the Architect.
But, Kale was not going to wait around to find out. He escaped. The guards caught him. Twice he attempted to escape, and was captured before he got to the forest perimeter. During one final attempt, he killed a guard. He was arrested and taken to court for trial.
It was a majority vote, with his father-the-impostor losing him to banishment. The Fey gathered and bound his powers within a mortal shell. Kale had screamed as he lost the bone structure of his `people', screamed as he felt the bones shift into the cruder form of a human. He had shivered as his silver hair began to change to a dark brown and a rougher texture. He was doing it for his people, yet they would never know of his thankless sacrifice.
He had wandered the continent, believing he was cut off from community, and destined to walk alone in the world. Yet, it had been Kiri's mother who had taken him in, taught him the way of the Prey, and then one night danced a dance of celebration that called to Kale's mother's blood within him. It sang, and a spirit beast responded. That night, he bonded with a beast from the element of Earth. Even with the strictures of his father in place, he now had the start of a new life, thanks to a kind hearted and generous soul: High Priestess, Kira, and Kiri's mother.
On the night the umbilical cord had been cut, and Kiri came screaming into the world, Kale had vowed he would protect this small bundle that had been a part of Kira for as long as he had breath to do so.
A sharp slap brought Kale back to the present. "I know why you're here, Kalemendari," his father whispered in his ear. "You are no longer needed. I felt the forest respond to that odd looking beast the moment it walked through here." With a contemptuous shove of his hand, his father pushed him to the ground. "Talon, kill him."
A gleam lit Talons eyes. "My pleasure, Elder." A roar shook the trees, and stopped the downwards plunge of Talon's claws.
An artificial darkness swirled around the eleven Fey and the Impostor. A ripple of unease crept through them, and the Impostor looked towards the eastern side of the clearing. Eyes gleamed, and shone with a silver light. A low growl rumbled and tickled across the skin of the fey like tiny insects. The trees leaned towards the beast-that-was-Kiri, and they watched as he slid into a direct beam of moonlight. The forest responded to Kiri like a lover lost but now found. The Fey watched as lines of gold trickled away from them and pooled at Kiri's feet. The energy that they drew from the forest wanted to go to Kiri. Gold flowed up his paws and over Kiri's skin, and the red pinpoints within his eyes began to dim and turn gold.
Neela gasped "Elder that's the..."
"Avatar" the Impostor spoke in a covetous voice.
Kale looked up at Neela. "Run Neela, run now before it's too late"
Talon cuffed him and he saw stars. Neela was still staring at him when he blinked a few times. Although he couldn't see her in the dark, he knew she could see him as clear as day. He put all his concern and fear into that look.
But something was happening around him. He watched as Kiri sprang. His father flung his hand out, and Kiri was backhanded into the woods by invisible hands. The trees snapped and crashed as Kiri sailed through them with the force the Impostor had used.
Gold light flashed, and Kiri disappeared. He appeared behind Talon and swiped his paws across Talon's back. The fey went flying. Kale tried to keep an eye out for Neela but couldn't find her. He hoped she had left when he asked her, but couldn't be sure.
The Fey became blurring motions. They attacked Kiri in a concerted effort, one hitting and running to be quickly replaced by another. It was fast and furious, and Kale's human eyes couldn't keep track of their movements.
One Fey screamed and fell out of witch time. Deep and bloody claw marks had ripped him open from chest to navel. Kale was shocked to see that the claws had ripped through the rib cage like it was butter.
Kiri snapped out of witch time. Kale looked at Kiri's claws and saw the gold energy that coated them. He watched as the Fey that had been clawed first turned to clay and then disintegrated to dust.
"Bind him!" yelled the Impostor. Sparks of energy shot out of the remaining fey and connected with Kiri. The beast screamed. It was lifted off its feet. Kale's face tightened as he felt his father drawing upon the energy of Feminine.
The Impostor dug into the Ley lines of the forest, bunched one hand into a fist, and then ripped. Screams came from the trees and plants, as the golden energy was massed into a swirling ball. The Impostor threw it at Kiri, a small blur launched itself into the ball and they both disintegrated on impact. Kale screamed; he knew who that small blur was.
The Impostor screamed his voice merging with the forest. Then he did something unexpected. Keeping up the visage of the Fey Elder had been taxing for too long. He ripped it away as he covered himself in Feminine energy.
Kale felt his bonds break, and heard the Fey gasp as they saw the Impostor for who he really was: a Ciaran. The forest began to shudder as the Ciaran became a glowing mass of golden light. Plants shrivelled and died as their life force was drawn from them. The forest moaned in agony. The Ciaran whipped golden cords out to the remaining Fey and bound them in a mind link, with him as the focal point.
Kiri was still trapped, however, and he struggled against his bonds. Suddenly, he looked up as if something was rushing towards him. In that moment, the Ciaran connected a ten layered golden cord upon Kiri and both jerked as if it hurt. Silence filled the forest, and Kiri, the Ciaran, and the trapped Fey were as still as statues.
Kale ran over and tried to stab his father, and was knocked back by a blast of power. He tried to stab the other fey and was just as unsuccessful. He watched the torment on Talon's face and, although they had been rivals, he wouldn't wish this on anyone.
Kale's mind ticked over, and he raced towards the commune gathering of the Fey. They needed to know what was happening, and they could help. He was counting on the binding that had been placed on him years ago to have fallen with his fathers drawing on the Feminine.
He needed to make them see, and the only way he could make them believe him was by using the old tongue. "Heed me, First Born," Blood spurted from his mouth, and he felt the burn building. "The Avatar is here, and the real Elder Lies within the Elder tree as we speak." He doubled over and coughed more blood. "My Father is not the true Elder, but a Ciaran." He gasped, screamed and crawled on the ground as intense pain gnawed at his bowels. "If you do not help now, the Elder will forever be trapped and the Avatar will die."
Darkness was reaching out to Kale. He felt his stomach and touched something wet and warm. Lifeblood was leaching out of him. Darkness claimed him.
A cool hand was upon his forehead, and there was no trace of pain. "Am I dead?"
A silvery sigh answered his reply. "No, Kalemendari, but any longer and you would have joined with the Architects design."
"How long have I been out?" he asked.
"Not long, minutes only." The speaker of that voice came into Kale's sight.
Kales heart lurched "Neela?"
The Fey shook her head. "No Kalemendari, its Nuala."
Kale felt sadness enveloping him, but he didn't have the time to wallow. "We have to get back to Kiri, I mean, the Avatar."
Nuala pushed Kale back down. "Let the healing finish, or my work will unravel," she admonished. "I am nearly done." Kale felt her cool hands placed across his forehead once more. A tingle over his head reminded him to remain still.
"Something happened to my twin, didn't it" Nuala said in matter of fact way.
Kales silence was all the confirmation she needed. The tingle faded, and Kale stood up. Looking down at Nuala, he bowed at the waist. "Thank you for saving me great lady."
She nodded her head, her great blue eyes filling with tears. "Go."
Kale turned and walked away, his heart hurting for Nuala. Neela had been his bride to be, but that was a long time ago, and Nuala had been a close friend. Sorrow would have to wait. He ran along the forest floor. "Give me speed," he pleaded to the forest. A small whisper echoed through his mind. It wasn't one of words, but it had a voice. The earth rose like a wave and washed over him.
He appeared in front of the fight. A golden ball surrounded the trapped Fey and the Ciaran. Outside it, the Fey he had asked to help were trying to break down the wall that the Ciaran had erected, but with very little effect. Kiri's beast seemed to be wilting and his feathers started to moult. The golden ley lines that had surrounded Kiri earlier seemed thin and small. Kale stared at the ley lines that surrounded his own father; they were bloated and very near to overflowing the perimeter of the Ciaran's body. An idea hit him.
"Direct your power into the ley lines under the Avatar," he called to the Fey. They stared at him with distaste and distrust on their faces. He growled his frustration, and called to his animal guide. He heard it scream its triumph in his head. Behind him, in astral form, a large Falcon appeared, rising from the ground. It opened its mouth and roared, but none could hear it save Kale. He pulled energy from the earth and directed it into the ley lines around Kiri. The animal guide followed in tandem. Kale silently thanked the forest for allowing him this small amount of power within its borders. Kiri seemed to lap up the power like it was the last water in a world of dry deserts. Kale began to shake; he could feel his life spark going into the ley lines but he refused to pull out. Behind him, his spirit animal faded, as the connection between them died.
Kiri stirred. The beast roared, and the forest answered. Kale dropped to the ground in a boneless heap. One small golden ley line streaked to him and he started to breathe once more.
By small increments, ley lines under the Ciaran started drawing towards Kiri. The veins of power pulsed under Kiri as, one by one and then by two's, the Fey directed energy into him. More lines slipped away from the Ciaran.
The beast spread its wings, the bonds of imprisonment broken. Kiri roared in triumph, floating above the ground. The Ciaran cried out in pain. Gold power flowered over Kiri like a cloak. His wings stretched out, feathers began to fall as the beast began to shift. Multiple feathers floated like a halo around Kiri, hiding his body from view.
A female voice crescendo through the forest, power blasted out like a bomb, with Kiri as the centre. He stood, basked in the power of Feminine. His eyes flashed silver as if lightning was ready to strike out of them at any minute. His body shone like a magnesium flare, and his hair trailed around him in a ruby mass of burnished curls. The voice rose higher. The Ciaran and the Fey trapped with him screamed. The ley lines beneath them were ripped unceremoniously away, and Kiri breathed a sinister sigh that echoed through the forest. The crowd shivered with trepidation.
"You have corrupted my design, and those in your employ must join in your punishment," Kiri said in a voice of a thousand baying hounds. Kale could only stare in horror as he watched the Ciaran turn to clay with those he had ensnared around him. Screams were heard from the Fey standing outside the binding as Kiri splayed his hands out. "You have become complacent, and now you will face my wrath," Kiri snarled. Fey dropped to the ground in pain as Kiri curled his hand and claws grew. Blood spurted from everyone that had dropped to the ground. The remaining Fey, unaffected, dropped to the ground in deep obeisance, their heads touching the ground.
Kiri looked towards them as they grovelled, and a cruel smile lit his face. "My obedient children, perhaps a sacrifice is in order to appease my anger."
"Stop!" Kale shouted, standing in front of Kiri with his arms outstretched. "They are innocents; I know that inside you is the kind and gentle Kiri."
Kiri's silver eyes spellbound Kale in a strange hold. Surprise gripped Kale. Sonny was inside, trying to guide and help. The old Kiri was resurfacing. An inner battle was being fought and Kiri, in his true form, dropped to the ground. Kale caught him and held him gently in his arms.
A ruffle of wind made Kale look up. Above, he watched as a giant astral form of Kiri carried Sonny and his beast into the distance.
Sonny woke up with the smell of satisfied female filling his nostrils. The Tigress lay asleep with her arms around him. Pushing her off, he looked down to see the scrolls beside him. His beast stared at him from a small distance away. He noted the oddity of it. Ever since he had made love to Kiri a year ago, his beast had been doing things independently from him. It was disconcerting. Spirit travel was not something that predators could do. In fact, he had never heard that it had been done, period. Yet here stood his beast, outside of him. He had been surprised when the Beast ran away with him last night and, remembering what he and Kiri had done, made his loins tighten. Pushing the thought aside, he wondered where the scrolls came from.
An image of Kiri placing his hands in the soil appeared in his mind, with the scrolls pushing up from the earth.
The beast growled and pointed at the scrolls before looking back at him. Sonny got the message and picked up the scrolls. The beast turned around and started walking away. Sonny followed.
Sonny came upon the old Trobal priest who had met them at the gathering. He was now sitting quietly, meditating in a sand filled arena. He opened his eyes and stared at Sonny. Sonny's beast rumbled and then sat in front of the old priest, his eyes never leaving the wrinkled face. Sonny approached. He walked up to his beast and then through it. It absorbed into him and he gave a deep sigh of relief.
"That is not a talent known to the Predator society, Prince," the priest said, eyes expressionless.
Sonny's heart pounded, "I don't know how it came to be, Priest Ancon." Trusting the instincts of his beast, and why it led him to the priest, he continued. "But I think you can help me with something." Pulling the scrolls from his shirt he showed them to the priest.
"Where did you get this?" the priest said in a quavery voice.
"It doesn't matter where I got it. Can you help me?"
The priest gave him a sharp look before replying. "What do you intend to do with those scrolls, Prince."
"Find the truth. But I can't read them, and I was hoping you might be able to."
"So it has begun," the priest muttered to himself. "And what will you do with the knowledge within those scrolls once you have them?" the priest asked.
"Change our future, before it gets taken from us by the Fey." With a little less certainty, he continued, "I was hoping the scrolls might help me find a way to do that."
"There are a lot of `truths' that the predator clans have refused to acknowledge, and they have been indoctrinated in ignoring it for centuries. Beliefs are stubborn things to break. If you think that throwing an old scroll around will get them to believe your words, you are seriously mistaken,"
"So, what do you suggest I do? If I tell the people about the threat of the Fey, they will laugh and consider it superstitious nonsense," Sonny replied.
The priest sighed. "I am well aware of our failings as a people, and you are not the only one that the Elder Wind of the Western Fey came to visit, young prince. Like you, I have a task. And, like you, keeping the Fey out of Trobal forest would be to the greater good of our kind." Getting up, he beckoned to the prince. "Come, let us read what the scrolls have to offer. After that we can strategise the best way to correct the errors of our ancestors."
"The Elder said that we have forgotten our duties to the great Architect, and our knowledge of the past is faulty, but I got the impression there was something more going on. He seemed a little anxious about Trobal Forest," Sonny said.
"I am hoping the scrolls will tell us why," the priest replied, walking towards a mushroom shaped temple.
It was an architectural marvel. The walls were polished smooth and were perfectly cylindrical with the roof attached as if some giant builder had chiselled the entire thing from one rock, starting at the base all the way up to the roof. It was not a predator design. Most predators used wood for their buildings, and they preferred houses that were constructed to blend in with their surroundings. The temple stood out amongst the scenery, and held a magnificent presence on its own.
"Are all the temples like this one?" the prince asked.
"This is the last of its kind. The rest were destroyed two thousand years ago. Why it survived and not the others is lost in the past." Looking down at the scrolls that now lay in his hands, he continued. "Or maybe not?"
"Good morning Priest Ancon, and Prince Sonny. Have the first tests already started?" a voice asked, moving into view from the woods on their right.
Priest Ancon stiffened slightly and turned towards the speaker. "Of course not, Head Priest Taal. I was showing Prince Sonny around some of the vicinity to help familiarise him for future travels here." Bowing, he folded his hands beneath his robes, hiding the scrolls from sight.
"While he is a prince to our clans, he is still an initiate and you, of all people, know that initiates are not allowed near the temples until their time is called." Walking up to priest Ancon, Taal continued. "If this happens again, priest Ancon, punishment will have to be meted out."
Ancon bowed deeply. "My sincerest apologies, Head Priest. It won't happen again."
"I know it won't," Taal replied. He looked at Prince Sonny, nodded his head slightly, and walked off.
Sonny ignored the acknowledgement. He could barely keep the beast within from ripping out the man's throat. Something was not right here, and the head priest reeked of something foul. Watching him disappear, he turned to Ancon. "That man has a foul taste to him. He looked only a few years older than myself. How did he get to become head of anything?"
"It's called politics, Prince. Tread carefully around that one; it is not only his scent that reeks. I'd better lead you back to the rest of the initiates. I will meet with you as soon as it is safe. "
Head Priest Taal watched as the prince and priest walked off. That old man was up to something; his nose could smell intrigue a mile away. But it was something that could wait. He had an important rendezvous prepared and, as long as the old man didn't interfere with his plans, he would live to see another day. As for the Prince, Taal's lip curled. He was a direct descendant of the ancient Lion Kings. With the help of the person he was going to meet, his dream could come to pass. He smiled, disappearing into the foliage.
Thanks for all the feedback guys, to email me contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Thanks as always goes to Richard for his fine work in editing!