a Land of Mistasia short story
In the Land of Mistasia, beyond the Michi Mountains, rested Keegan Castle. It was a wondrous and tremendous achievement for the elves that dwelled within this structure. Few in Mistasia even knew that Keegan Castle existed. It had been kept hidden by the mountains for centuries…until two cunning elves discovered them, forming an alliance that would change the shape of Mistasia forever.
Late one day, only a few months later that alliance took shape. The sun nestled between the mountaintops casting large shadows on the castle grounds. Queen Kraylan Keegan, leader of the northern elves, stood at the gate awaiting their arrival. The bustling elves passed her as they went about their daily activities. They were humble and powerful creatures and would never agree with what their Queen was about to help set in motion. She hadn’t been of sound mind lately, confused by her feelings for an elf that she barely knew. He was strong and charming.
Queen Kraylan’s long red hair flowed down her neck resting across her chest. She took in the heavy evening air when she saw him approaching. He walked with a distinct purpose…his warriors and sorcerer with him. She didn’t trust this sorcerer, Pierre LaCroiux. It was something in his eyes…void of compassion, unlike the man for whom she had been waiting impatiently at the castle gates for nearly three hours.
“Cragon,” she gasped placing her hands on his chest. He grabbed her wrists with a force that shocked her. “What is wrong?”
“Not here, my love! We need to get inside the castle,” Cragon Cadieux commanded.
“Oh, of course, Cragon,” Queen Kraylan briskly turned and led him and his group through a short courtyard and immediately down a narrow pathway lined with thick vines growing along the walls.
Words were few as they approached their destination…a small tower set along the far wall of the castle. Queen Kraylan swiped her hand over the door unlocking it. Cragon grasped her and pulled her aside allowing Sorcerer LaCroiux access. The sorcerer’s gaze landed fiercely on the Queen as he past. She felt his hatred burning against her skin. A group of warriors followed him as they surrounded two prisoners.
Cragon half-smiled before kissing her upon the forehead, “Thank you my dear.” He motioned for her to enter. Once inside he slammed the door shut.
Queen Kraylan felt uneasy. She felt trapped in this once peaceful place by someone who claimed to love her, but she pushed that feeling down deep inside. She hadn’t earned the title of Queen from familial ties…she was awarded the position from those that lived here with her. She was a warrior, a hero and a powerful sorceress. Most of all, Queen Kraylan did not have to fear Cragon Cadieux. He loved her.
The group followed a staircase that lead them deep under the castle. Once below, Sorcerer LaCroiux set the room ablaze with a spell for all to see. Cragon moved to the center of the room.
“Tonight, we have done what must be done for the good of Mistasia and the Cadieux name.” His words weren’t harsh yet he spoke with vigor. “My brothers, this is the night we lay claim to the throne.” A smile rose on all their faces. Cragon took a deep breath as though savoring the sweet smell of victory. He looked at Queen Kraylan. Her expression was that of confusion. Cragon held out his hand. She searched the room. All eyes were firmly on her, awaiting her acceptance. This was the moment she would seal her fate and intertwine it with his…the man she loved for better or worse, and it was about to get much worse. The Queen of Keegan Castle placed her hand in his. She noticed how small and insignificant it appeared as his engulfed hers completely. He pulled her near and re-positioned her before him.
“I have something to show you,” Cragon whispered as he stepped aside. “I want you to meet my brother, King Steven ‘the weak’ and his wife, Queen Delia ‘the wretched’.” He began to laugh.
King Steven began to scream, but the sound was muffled. It only made Cragon laugh harder. His warriors joined him. Cragon waved his hand in front of his brother’s mouth releasing his spell allowing the King to utter a few words of disgust.
“How dare you, Cragon? Release us at once!” King Steven demanded in his most regal tone that could be mustered under the circumstances. He was still in shock from this night’s betrayal. Cragon recast the spell leaving his brother’s muffled screams in place of words.
“LaCroiux, it is time!” Cragon stepped back allowing the sorcerer space. In moments,LaCroiux shocked the room into complete silence. He cast a spell turning the King and Queen of Cadieux Castle into statues. Now, King Cragon Cadieux and his sorcerer would return to claim the throne.
Queen Kraylan Keegan was left to perform her part of this coup. Keegan Castle would become the permanent home for the former King and Queen, and Queen Kraylan would keep them out of sight.
Many years later, Queen Kraylan continued to wait for his return. Cragon Cadieux had always promised that they would be together. He told her that he had to cleanse Mistasia of all his brother’s mistakes and return Cadieux Castle to glory…then and only then could he return for her. In the meantime, Keegan Castle would remain a secret to the other elves of Mistasia, hidden under the protection of Michi Mountains and the stories that Sorcerer LaCroiux would weave about the land beyond the mountains.
Her love for King Cragon grew into obsession and then despair.
Once again, the Queen stood at the gates of her mighty castle. It was a brisk winter night at the foot of the great mountains and a light snow fell at her feet. Her heart felt a sudden, sharp pain, and it knocked her to the snow.
“My Queen!” a nearby elf named Atom Kaval called. He was her second in command, leader of the Keegan Warriors. “Are you alright?” He aided her to her feet. She was weeping in his arms.
“Take me to him!” She called out hysterically.
“I cannot, my Queen. It is forbidden!” He replied.
“It is too late;he is gone!” She sobbed. She felt it within her heart. The bond she and Cragon had created so many years earlier had vanished. “WHIZZENMOG!!!” She screamed with such forced it cleared the snow from the area forming mountain-like snow drifts burying trees just outside the castle.
“My Queen, what has happened?”
“They have taken him from me,” she whimpered. A warmth began to burn deep within her. She dashed through the courtyard toward the tower that held her awful secret. Queen Kraylan approached the door but did not open it. She cast a spell causing it to explode, showering the area with splinters. Down the staircase, she moved with more determination than ever before. They would be down there…they would be waiting for her…they would be waiting for her to release them.
Upon entering the tomb, Queen Kraylan lashed out, creating a fireball to light the room. She collapsed to her knees before them,crying.
A gasp echoed in the room. Standing in the entryway was Atom. An expression of disgust upon his youthful face. The Queen quickly wiped her tears and stood tall in an attempt to compose herself. She dimmed the light, but Atom quickly relit the room to expose the two statues against the wall.
“What are these?” His voice was stern.
“I will punish them for this, Atom.”
“For what, exactly, my Queen? They are statues.”
“For ruining everything I ever cared for,” she turned away.
“What are these?” He questioned again, placing his hand on her shoulder. She pushed him away with great force, sending him into the wall. He was much larger than she, but Queen Kraylan Keegan was the most powerful sorceress in her kingdom…the only elf more powerful was the one that she loved and lost…Cragon Cadieux.
“These are the King and Queen of Cadieux, Atom! The brother of the elf I love! King Steven’s responsible for Cragon’s death!”
“That is impossible, my Queen!” Atom pleaded for reason. “He is right here…in our castle. Imprisoned, my Queen.”
“I must…I have to save him! So that we can finally be together.”
“But…you said…my Queen?” Atom struggled to follow.
“There is only one way to bring him back. I must go to Greenville and find the Whizzenmog. He has it!”
Atom found himself staring at the pained expressions upon King Steven and Queen Delia’s faces.
“He has what, my Queen?”
“The Gossamer Pen.”
MORE TO COME FROM THE LAND OF MISTASIA