in dal’coler
flowers bloom with blood
and souls disappear
rubies, rubies everywhere
captive light and trees that tell
a tale of night and muted screams

Leira sneaked through the door of the throne room in High Palace of Dal’coler. Her limbs were supple and almost transparent, in unearthly way and her forehead was adorned with a pair of sharp horns. After her a long thin tail, elegant in its misplaced beauty. She felt as glamour starts to numb her senses – too many High Fae in one place for a human, even if this human was used to it.

One never could fully get used to it.

Trying to breathe slowly, she slipped through the crowd like a knife through butter, aiming to the throne on the other side of the vast room, where two High Fae talked with Lorian Ain’Dal, her master. The other fey, still waiting to talk with him, started to aknowledge her… and her unnatural law to go before the line.

Lorian was sitting on the throne, his one leg brushing the floor, and the second supported on the arm of his seat. He looked bored, but Leira knew it’s just a pose. He was taking the whole gathering in, seeking. Sensing. She knew how his mind works. She knew what lays in his heart. 

Yet, she was his servant, one of the best, as he used to say. She doubted if that meant something for him. One thing that she learned in the fae realm, that its inhabitants don’t feel human emotions. Aren’t restrained by anything. And if Lorian suddenly wanted to see how she looks on the inside out, he would check it, not giving it any deeper thought.

The fey, especially High Fae, were inhuman beings, who fed on fear. Things that would scare a human, they would find merely interesting.

And she was trapped here, like a moth without wings.

Lorian pretended to see her only when she stood next to him, bowing deeply. But she knew he saw her before and tracked her, something new and something thrilling. A human approached him. How amusing.

He waved at the two fey who he talked with and they slowly left, looking with morbid curiosity at Leira.

“My lord… Lady Suriel returned from her hunt.”

Lorian’s completely black eyes landed on her, sparkly dark holes in his handsome face. She didn’t feel his glamour, that meant that he purposefully saved her his influence. She didn’t know if to be worried or glad.

“Truly…” he mused, leaning against the backrest, his feathery black hair seemed to move like in the wind, yet she knew it was something else. “It’s good that Suriel was aware that she needs to return at all. The question is, how well it went,” he raised a brow at her, his expression questioning.

“I hope… she succeeded,” said Leira, actually not knowing what else to add.

“Ah, you hope,” Lorian smiled. His smile was predatory even if he didn’t try. “Hope is such a fragile small thing. One can destroy it in hundreds, if not thousands of ways. I assume Suriel didn’t even try to share with you if it went well or not.”

Leira shook her head, her golden curls which circled her tiny face, looked like waves of sunlight. Lorian as always was completely oblivious on the fact, that other fae don’t find her as useful as he did.

“Lady Suriel rarely even looks at me, my lord” she had to admit.

High Fae could sense a lie in the human throat like wolves sense blood. So the only way to survive in their realm was saying the truth… or not saying anything at all.

“She possibly should grow another pair of eyes” Lorian’s tone harshened, yet his face remained calm. “Maybe I can help her with that. Tell lady Suriel, that I expect her soon, here. Ready and willing. As soon as she deals with her prey. Or—” his eyes narrowed “— even with it. It will be faster, don’t you think?”

Leira didn’t dare to oppose him, but that looked like a mission sentenced to death before it started. Lady Suriel, the only lesser fae with that title, was an extremely moody Bean Sidhe. Leira knew though that she was nothing compared to what lay under calm composure of her master.

“I see you linger” Lorian’s smile still present, yet his hair brushed with shadows. She had no choice. Suriel may be dangerous, but Leira’s life here depended only on Lorian’s moods.

Bowing again, she left, with resignation, to call the Bean Sidhe. A woman with raven wings passed her, her face hidden behind a black mask, her eyes big and blue and piercing, almost unnaturally round. Leira caught her gaze, a bit surprised,  a bit angry, a bit… hating. She knew that Lorian’s lovers never were fond of her. Nymre was the most possessive of them all.

Leaving, she heard and saw how Nymre laughs, a dark, beautiful sound. Lorian dragging her on his lap. She felt as his deep enchantment follows her, when he allowed his glamour again to come on the surface. The other fae’s eyes following Leira, gleaming, like white and green and blue suns.

Definitely time to depart.

Her steps rang in the vast corridor, after she left the throne room. Fast steps of someone who isn’t in hurry at all.

Her situation was not normal. But she almost forgot how to be truly afraid.

2 Replies to “ATOM: Interlude I – Dal’coler”

  1. Oh, I already read this one! I read it out of order. *face palm* Reading it now in the correct order, I suspect that Lady Suriel was responsible for Tiyan’s parents’ death. And I did a quick search, and Bean sídhe is another name for Banshee. 😱

    1. Yes, it was her! She is bloodthirsty haha.
      I like using the names from folklore :> A lot of stuff in this dark version is taken from real irish folklore 🙂

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