Categories wip

ATOM: Shadowlands – III

The raw mountain sight of Shadowlands engraved in his mind like his own reflection. The days passed, similar, covered with falling snow and sharp ridges.

Qhal didn’t talk with him about what happened, but Tiyan sensed something had changed. His gaze became even more curious, and… darker. Like something he suspected all the time proved to be true. When Tiyan poured the blood liquid into his throat, for a few tense, awful minutes, he thought he poisoned him. Killed him. But then, his pale – too pale – complexion started to gain natural colors and his eyes slowly opened. Tiyan didn’t know what Qhal saw in his own mind… but it left a mark on the usually collected fairy.

He told him Shadowland’s massive is his home. Maybe they showed him something he wanted to be left in the past.

When he asked about the blue blood… Qhal just smiled – an annoying, all-knowing grin. Dark, in its alien way. Everything in him in that moment seemed alien and distant.

But something changed in Qhal. Maybe horror he went through due to mirages… maybe gratefulness for saving him from them. Tiyan realized that fae don’t like to say “thank you.” Or only Qhal doesn’t like to.

But he felt like Qhal changed opinion on him.

No pet.

Maybe… young child trying to act like an adult.

But not a toy or an animal.

He also understood one surprising thing – against his fear and doubt. The power the Shadow wanted him for – he wanted to dive into it more, before Qhal and him reached the fairy palace. To learn if he can use it to defend himself… and save Mina. Because he was aware that they won’t free her, he will have to fight for her. Until now, he thought he wouldn’t manage, forcing his soul through the hopeless crevice in the dark painting created of shadows and night. He wanted to see Mina again, and try to save her… but he was scared, so scared that he won’t be able and they’ll both die trying.

But now… he felt strength, while he walked through the melting snow, safe from nightmares, among flames that could harm all living beings… but not him. The fire slowly burned in him, all this time, until he allowed it to touch his heart… and started to eat his fear out. Swallowing it thought after thought, doubt after doubt.

He still felt fear. And doubt.

But now he really had hope. That he had a chance.

He hoped it wasn’t a cruel game the fey liked so much. And that Mina is still alive.

Qhal led them through the cruel massive, days became one with nights, differing only by lack of walking and warmth of the green canopy. Days, which beamed with fresh and pallid snow, carried during hungry nights – colder and cruel. And nights – taken from a dream of a warm fireplace, opposing the bloodthirsty face of Ain’asel. Mirages, again. Maybe he shouldn’t attach to them.

Attaching to anything that was elusive and out of reach.

“You must be prepared when we reach Dorh-arsol” one day he heard the silent voice of Qhal, now not muted by the blows, which calmed down, a quiet but freezing wind; it made Tiyan feel safe enough to drown in his own thoughts.

Qhal turned to him to see his face and it had to be not wise, because he smiled, with his usual, calm way. Kinder than any fairy he has ever seen so far.

“Perhaps my advice comes too late. We are in Shadowlands. This land has a special connection with our gods.”

Perhaps. For Tiyan, who was tired and everything started to slowly blur in his head – cruelty of the fae and amiable behavior of Qhal – the mention of gods didn’t cause any effect. Maybe they are worse than fae, maybe not.

“They are dead” Qhal seemed to again read in his mind; Tiyan hoped he didn’t. Or simply it was that obvious. “But left a gate, which can be used by humans.”

A gate.

Just like the one through which he passed the border between Ain’sel and Avras. Which took part of his soul, maimed it and returned, almost the same, but somehow… not fitting anymore.

Tiyan shook his head. If he again had to go through the portal, he would need more than being prepared.

“How many will we have to pass?”

“Only two” Qhal grinned again, and again in a very knowing way. “They may cause a painful body reaction. My king equipped me for that, so we reached Dal’coler sooner. Maybe, after I use my means,  it will be even… pleasant for someone like you” wild sparks in his eyes, amused ones.

Ah, kind king. So thoughtful. Who knew he will be slowly disintegrating and putting together again. And thought so much of his pain and pleasure.

Dark shadows, under his clothes. A touch of night between his legs.

Something that was both alluring and unwanted, something forceful… but not completely.

He hung on the name; not wanting to dwell into these thoughts. Not now, at least.


“The palace which grows in the Nihelia mountains, our capital. The heart of our land. Beautiful. And tempting. One should never wish to live there.”


Somehow Tiyan didn’t want to know more.

Qhal pulled the hood off his head, his hair fluttered on the wind, waving like spring ribbons. He possibly wanted to use the slowly emerging sun and lack of wind, to feed himself. He parted the collar of his shirt; his throat already beaming slightly, glittering. His head pulled back, like he lived through an ecstasy, when the sun embraced him with familiar rays.

Tiyan pulled the dry meat he got from Qhal in the morning. A bit wet, but still delicious in comparison to what he was getting in Avras. And he didn’t have to kill any animal to eat it.

The meat tasted different. Maybe it was the wet structure, or more salt, but he devoured it much faster and eager than during previous days. How many of them already? The path through Shadowlands seemed endless; pushing rock on the hill, only to see it rolling down again.

Suddenly, a taste of Ona’s chocolate tingled on his taste buds. A memory. A fond one.

He didn’t think of Ona during the whole road he passed in this cursed realm. He wondered if she reached her destination and if she managed to deal with her demons, which were so raging, that she didn’t even share them with him.

Maybe he meets her again… if they both won’t die… if the flame won’t devour him with its strength…

A pang of hurt reached his heart. The life he has left behind, the love he still needed to confess. The flames could separate him from someone else. Someone he held in his heart like the fire that walked with him. Maybe he will be able to return to Noyd and tell her all that he held hidden so far, and didn’t dare to admit.


So many maybes in his future. And so few real chances.

Do not think of that. You have more chances that in the beginning,

“Tomorrow we will reach the gate” he heard Qhal like through the mist. His voice invigorated, gaining new strength, and a little sprinkles of joy.

Tiyan chewed the meat.

Thinking of chocolate and what he has left behind.

Categories fairy realm

The Wild Hunt

The wild spring overgrowth swallowed them with green and yellow; light touching their skin with soft caress.

For Leira, it was a beautiful time, stolen from her sad reality. Her father would never allow her to spend time with a mere hunter. Mira was for him not more than a peasant – and she knew in the eyes of other nobles or noble born, she was just a wild child, secretly sneaking from under the protective canopy of her rich life, to indulge into forbidden activity – loving a lowly born.

How false it sounded for her, how… cruel. This was unnecessary cruelty. Not even for them both, as much as obvious it was. It was cruel for her. This protective canopy was made of empty rooms, numerous and haunted, of one time angry and now broken father, who couldn’t even think of finding new love in place of her mother. Love is a sadistic goddess – her choosing another was a thing that broke his soul in half. How should it feel for him to see her so happy with someone she truly loves? Maybe that’s why he would chase Mira away, to not invite love under his roof. To not invite something that would drill his broken soul; to the bare bone.

Yet… Leira didn’t intend to be the vessel for his love. Since her mother left, he didn’t allow himself to treat her with affection that she wanted – affection from father to his daughter; she longer for laugh, for joy, and they became for her a forbidden treat. Something that she had to be stealing for herself to feel them. She was hungry for love, thirsty for touch. Lonely years made her even more willing to abandon herself in her hunter’s love… forbidden, yes, yet made just for her. Not for her father, not for a silent house in which she lived.

For her.

And she was ready to swallow each drop of happiness that trickled from this high hanging fruit.

Her lips pressed to Mira’s one’s. Her legs embraced his waist, pushing him inside. The thick and swelling richness of spring around her, was making her even more passionate and even more lost in the feeling.

He broke the kiss and looked into her eyes.

His eyes, green. Like leaves. Like young life.

“Leira…” Mira was never vocal during sex. But her name whispered during their union, always bringing her on the edge.

She embraced him and pushed between her neck and collarbone, wanting to feel his lips in one of her most fragile places. He obeyed, his kiss sent a shiver through her.

She wanted to come when he was kissing him. Far from home, she wanted to leave her home forever. And stay here, tangled with Mira into one person, not thinking of sadness and pain.

The sun gleamed through leaves, caressing her just like his fingers.

I so want you to fill me…

The sun.

Silent murmur of the leaves.

Warmth of the day and his heated body, pressed to hers.

And a gust of cold wind.

It raised the hair on her hands.

His thrust was especially hard, and she came. Her eyes opened from delight, but something crept into her, something unwanted.

He had to feel something, because he raised his eyes and looked into her irises, with visible worry.

“Leira…? Is everything alright? Have I hurt you?”

“No… just…”

She felt winter. Winter in spring. Not a winter she would want to feel now.

She felt guilt; Mira didn’t feel anything. Were her worries really so deep, that it caused mirages?

Something was not right.

Mira kissed her, but she couldn’t respond with similar fire. He withdrew.

“If something’s wrong, tell me” he sat next to her, confused, but trying to turn it into a relaxed joke. “I am not – hopefully – that bad as a lover.”

“Do you feel it?” was her response.

“Feel? Should I feel something more than you?”

“I sense… cold.”

He looked at her with visible worry… and a slight dose of disbelief. He really could think that she disliked it. She wanted it. So much.

… the winter was slowly creeping in. Mira looked around, confused. Now, he felt that too.

The cold air danced around them, and embraced her soul, squeezing the unrequited fear from it. Unnatural, even if only a touch of the air on her skin.

And in the moment she was watching the leaves fall from the trees, dry and dead, like late autumn vermillion…

She saw them.

At first, her mind didn’t connect. Really couldn’t embrace it. She felt a strong gust of love… and strong fear. Her mind lost for a moment in reverie of adoration and a need to run, far from them, far from their gleaming wonder.

Pointy ears, like taken from old stories. Five men and one woman, beautiful, so beautiful, like dreams coming through… but ready to turn into nightmares, in every minute.

They were sitting on animals, which only by shape resemble horses. But she couldn’t understand it, because they looked like horses. But… only looked like ones. They weren’t.

A woman, with face hidden behind a bird mask, was looking at her and Mira intensely, until she broke into a scoff.

“Lovers. How cute.”

Leira’s eyes though weren’t on her. A man, next to her. Clothed in a black, belted with a wide belt, in black tight trousers and high boots. He was looking at her with attention. He was smilingly, kindly, but his gaze… his eyes were completely black, a void filled with stars and moons, so ready to drag her into the abyss.

Leira swiftly, protectively pulled her skirt down, terrified they saw her intimately.

“Do not laugh at lovers, my cruel raven” the man in black still looked at Leira with an attentive gaze. “Seeing them reminds me of possibilities of… attachment.”

Leira swallowed, hard. His voice was deep, silent, and cruel. A voice, which promised pain.

“You Majesty… the Wild Hunt awaits us” one of them looked at them with scorn… but with hunger too.

“I am the Wild Hunt” the black-eyed’s tone not allowing any objections.

The man hit his horse with his feet, and it started to approach them, Leira involuntarily backing off, fast, wanting to get as far from them both, as possible.

Mira pulled the knife, ready to protect her.



“Do not come closer” Mira uttered with clenched teeth, but his knife-holding hand was almost invisibly shaking.

Of course they saw it too.

The man smiled wider, charmingly. Beautifully. The scent of violets reached her. Her favorite flowers.

He didn’t say anything, but approached closer, not minding his pose, ready to attack or defend. The horse-like creature between his legs looked blanky just into Leira’s eyes.

“I will kill you, if you do” she felt that under Mira’s voice, a panic, deep, gut-wrenching, hope-stealing.

“Oh. How… bold. Is that what you are going to do? Kill me, send me to my gods? Pull out my entrails with that knife?”



His horse stepped in place, restless. Awaiting something.

Something started to creep from behind the black-eyed man. Something very dark, something that had its roots in the very first night. Shadows, which Leira felt were hungry. Just as the man in black.

And they slowly, very slowly started to swirl around her lover, caressing his skin with soft strokes; his confused expression reminded her of her father, when her mother told him she leaves.  They crept, binding his arms and legs in a tight grip.

And just as slowly, entered him through his skin, filling him up.

Mira’s eyes opened wide. So wide. A groan left his mouth. Pained and not pained one, at the same time.

“Humans are created for pain… and pleasure” a kind, cruel words. “Both are equally carnal for them. And both can be their undoing.”

Mira groaned again, this time louder. Leira saw sweat on his temples. Something was in him… and caused him feelings that scared Leira.

She felt as her limbs became weak. Her heart pounded in her chest. Her whole being screamed against this. She still felt him inside, how he loved her. And now..

The man’s smile was predatory, and Leira felt it in her bones… blooming in her with hopeless fear.



Leira knew, though, that they wouldn’t allow her to run.

Mira didn’t scream, but his body was suffering, and so did Leira. His skin tensed, showing slowly blackening, swollen veins. Leira could see as they grew and spread under his skin.

He started to utter heart-wrenching moans, falling on his knees, also – almost – like her father, when her mother left. Leira had to do something. Anything! Her mind raced but her acts were faster than her thoughts.

She decided to do something stupid. So stupid. Reckless. Foolish. But she couldn’t look at his torment. He loved her and offered her something no one in her life did.

She slowly approached the man on the horse, trying to be brave. Trying to not think what can happen. Trying to find a spark in her that will allow her to not run.

That was never an option.

The man moved his gaze, lazily from the agony-filled Mira, to look at her, his smile always present, like he knew something that was hidden from all the others. Leira felt as she loses control over her body, she felt only a force, a force of her will, that dragged and guided her forth, like strings, attached to her strenght and determination.

“Please. Do not” her eyes rose. Boldly. Without doubt. They met the black void of his. “I will do everything, but stop.”

His smile still on his face, but only for a small, insignificant second. His lips formed an expression that sent a real shiver down her spine. Real one, because she understood it.

No matter what she’ll do, they will be dead.

“So that’s what humans do now” he mused, his tone laced with irony. “Sacrifice. Such strong feelings you have for him. Such a strong… devotion. A really admirable act.”


And they were not ones.

Creatures of old tales, pointy ears, painful beauty, fables, terrible fairytales by the furnace fire.

“And such a promising one.”

Mira’s body twisted in an unnatural way, his eyes becoming as black as the man’s one.

“No!” empty voice, not existing tears rushed to Leira’s eyes, threatening to break the dam. She would not show them she is crying, even if they knew she did, deep into her soul, deep in her heart. If she showed… it would be the end.

It happened so fast… like a spring storm, rushing over fertile fields, flooding them with destructive rain.

She knew it would be the end of her free will. And they knew it too. The tempting love was forcing into her mind, mixed with fear… a sick and terrifying amalgamate of contradictions.

“But sacrifice would not be full without a delicious hopelessness” the man smiled again. A single shadow danced around her, and caressed her face, which she reacted to with a toss of her head; the shadow insistently followed. “He can suffer like that for months… or you will end this.”

Leira didn’t at first want to understand what he just said. Her soul rejected this immediately. But her heart pounded in her chest quicker than ever, she knew what he meant. The song of the birds, the spring green and the light breeze around her suddenly became black and dull; devoid of colors.

The others, one woman and four men who arrived with her tormentor, looked at them with beautiful and charming smiles, like they were watching a family scene. She felt nauseous.

“Kill him, show that you can sacrifice yourself. Slit his throat, end his suffering. Fill our eyes.

The woman in the back laughed. Leira feld so cold suddenly; her limbs even weaker than before.

Slit his throat.

Fill our eyes.

His eyes.

She couldn’t do it. She couldn’t. But when she looked at Mira, and saw his writhing in agony…

He can suffer like that for months.

And she knew she had to.

The man in black waited, curious, dangerously focused on her. A hate, strong one, filled her. Hate, fear and hopeless will to refuse. But she knew she couldn’t. And that was most cruel in this already cruel game.

Tears eventually filled her vision – her failure and their victory – but she slowly, feeling like her body didn’t belong to her, walked to Mira and picking the knife he dropped in his throes, she looked at it with blank stare.

Kill him.

Fill our eyes.

Mira looked just at her. The shadows retracted, his body still tensed, still pained, but… he was looking just at her.

“Leira…” he rasped.

She couldn’t.

She had to.

The black-eyed will fill him with shadows again. He won’t let him be. And he made him conscious only for him to look at her like that.

Her mind filled with the last lovemaking. She wanted to leave her house, join him on the hunt, and live with him.

She wanted to carry his child.

The only person who truly cared for her and loved her.

The only person that really mattered.

But now… she will die too. With his blood on his hands, her last minutes before death will be filled with anguish after taking his life.

She caressed his face, hating herself for doing so… She touched his hair… they were wet and sweaty under her trembling hand. She despised herself for daring to touch him, but she had to feel him, last time.

She remembered his scent, like leather and smoke, his lips on hers, how he was taking her to his house in the woods he built himself. The warmth of his bed, of his embrace.

Of his tender and loving touch.

She will die today, with a knife that took his life in her hand.

She couldn’t think of it, tears wanted to rush to her eyes.

“Leira, please…” his voice low, changed, not like the voice she heard every day. He didn’t want to die. And it was slicing her heart into millions of tiny pieces. She felt as huge bile chokes her, blocks the air from her lungs.

She took him by his hair… once rough in touch, familiar… now messed up and wet, so terribly wet…

She lifted his head, exposed neck, now tensed and hard as stone…


Her hand didn’t shake, which terrified her even more.

… And slit his throat.

The knife went in so easily, frighteningly easily. Separating him from life they could live together.

The man in black looked at her, with his cruel void.

The others laughed, pleased, gloating, like his death was a precious prize.

Blood gushed on her hands, her vision blurred; she dropped the knife into the grass, the laughter of her tormentors reached her like from bottomless well.

The man in black looked at her though, without even a small laugh, small smile… he looked at her with morbid curiosity.

Like he measured her and pondered how much she can still withstand.

Leira’s body was shivering. Mere minutes ago, he loved her. He will never do that again.

She wanted to scream at the man in black, to tell him he should kill her now, if he finds death so thrilling. But her throat couldn’t form a word and her mind – a coherent thought.

And she didn’t want to die.

Black eyes were drilling holes in her soul.

The masked woman was telling something to her tormentor.

But she didn’t hear it. The shadows embraced her neck and delved under her clothes, to enter her skin. She felt both pain and misplaced, unwanted pleasure. So strong that she was sure she was losing herself, despising herself, her body pulsing and trying to oppose it.

But the goddess had mercy on her. She passed away, before something she would hate happened.

Allowing her to sink into the void.

Lorian’s smile faded. The human woman was lying unconscious under his feet.

Humans are so fragile.

So easy to control.

So eager to be broken.

He still felt fire, deadly flame in his veins, traveling into his most fragile places, mixing agony with pleasure. A faint burst of suffering, not comparable – this time – to his night torments, but for that, even worse… blurring borders.

Nymre got closer. Her gossamer aura repressed, wild; she wanted him, he felt that. His cruel raven. Violence was increasing her drive tenfold.

This human woman amused him though. She was… promising.

“We are taking her with us.”

Nymre’s smile disappeared from her features, her will for sex cut like with a sharp knife.

“Why? You have many slaves already” she didn’t add that too much, but Lorian knew she thought that, even without entering her mind.

“Your Majesty…”

Alnam. Of course. Everpresent.

“That was amusing, my Lord, but most of our portals won’t take her. She will die. If we took her the traditional way, even with the ones that let her be, it would take… much more time.”

Lorian’s gaze met with Alnam’s.

Yes, Lorian knew what Alnam thought now. Cruel. Unnecessary ruthless. Sadistic without a reason. He killed my son – this thought unwillingly was pushing on the surface, even if Alnam didn’t want to, an old wound, but still producing pus.

Pain. Hatred. So strong, touching him in an almost intimate way.

Alnam’s strong will to oppose, even if he never would, not in reality. Perhaps, Alnam’s repressed, hopeless hatred was what brought him the greatest pleasure and pain, borders blurred again, a bitter and desired taste of rot.

“She will hate you, Your Majesty,” Alnam added.

“Perhaps her hatred is what I really need” Lorian smiled at him, with his most beautiful smile. A sun rising over winter mountains.

Perhaps, hatred is what kept him sane, when the pain was coming and the world was bursting in blue color and his blood boiled in his veins.

Beautiful. Strong.



And dangerous. Impressing him with its strength.

Categories wip

ATOM: Shadowlands – II

The cinders in his mouth tasted like blood. Thick, old and oily. The scent of burned wood reached him, embraced and almost pulled the vomit out from his mouth. He felt as if something again started crawling under his clothes, hungry and well hidden next to his skin, a promise of pain that hung over him like a heavy cloud.

“Shadow’s pet. Long way from home. Open and ready for our gifts.”

Tiyan tried to trash, but something kept his arms tightly, even if he was doing everything to tense and break it. A spell. Frantic fear ran through him with a cold wave.

Where is Qhal?

This question was drilling his mind, but wasn’t giving an answer. But the widely open eyes, looking at him from every direction were holding knowledge of hours without breath; just flames. He felt them under his skin, just like strange tingling of whetever moved under his clothes, rippling in his trousers and under shirt, wanting to enter him.

He felt the touch on his head again, someone pulled his hair and his neck yanked back, painfully. The eyes which were now looking at him, were old, almost eternal. The cracked skin of the faery was emitting the dim glow of the burning furnace. This fey burned… under ashen and cold skin.

Tiyan again tried to trash, but it was futile. The spells were holding him as strong as vines and roots.

His vision became blurry, the reality thickening; like spider web, dripping off fluid. His eyes so ready to close, he sensed trudging through snow again; the snow of his own mind.

“Shadow’s pet… delicious meat…”

They watched him, attentive eyes, tiny faces, joyful smiles on their lips.

No. Crooked smiles. Dark gleams in their irises. Something slid its way down his leg, something with teeth and he would prefer to just close his eyes and die. Under his clothes, crawling vermin and small creatures, pushing themselves into crevices, biting him with teeth, eating him alive.

“Humans like pets.”

“He should be happy we gave him ours.”

“He should be glad he feeds them.”

“So they aren’t hungry anymore.”

Please kill me, he wanted to mutter into the earth. Their spells kept him pressed over the forest floor. The happy faces, elated faces, everywhere. And the sound of his flesh. He felt it being drilled by hundreds of tiny teeth. But he couldn’t scream. He couldn’t. They took it from him. His voice caught up in his throat.

A laughter, somewhere near his ear. A joyful giggle, innocent like a spring. A cornucopia of colors around him, like spring too. He wanted to disappear in it, give himself to colors. Yellow, blue, and green… but all he could think about was red. Crimson. Rubies splashed over his skin.

A small hand caressed his skin, a face on his peripheral gaze.

“The Shadow likes to take voice from his prey.”

“And ask them to do the impossible.”

“Poor pet, he should stay at home.”

“Serve his lord.”

“Observe how he enjoys.”

“Maybe we give him time.”

“To enjoy.”

“Maybe he breaks the spell.”

“Maybe he fills us with his voice.”

A hopeless moan left his mouth. The teeth reached his tigh and the creature resumed to eat him, slowly. His eyes watered. He tried to reach behind, but his hands were tied with the spell, which squeezed him even tighter, pushing him deeper into the snow.

“We might give him a sweet death.”

“But only if he pleads very nice.”

“Can he plead nicely?”

“So it broke our hearts.”

“And made us love him.”

“More than our pets.”

He choked on his words, unable to form a sentence. He wanted to tear the air with screams. Please allow me. Allow me to scream.

The creatures under his clothes seemed oblivious. There was no fast escape.

Only pain.

A long suffering without the end, a nightmare made of worst fear…

Worst fears.



They don’t have Mina. I isn’t Mina who the vermins drill with their teeth. And his worst fear is not this.

Like through mist, he saw silhouettes which weren’t tiny ashen fae, nor anything bound to his pained flesh.

A flame.

A rapid flame, which was burning everything around him, leaving him in the center of a fire ring.

The fey are made of fire; they can’t die by burn.

The fire spread and Tiyan suddenly could move. He couldn’t believe he can. The sound of his body being consumed stopped, leaving the place to howling wind. He opened his eyes wider. Snow melted, pouring with streams off the cliff, he almost reached. The gaping hollow emptiness was opening under him, just a few inches off his feet. If he still trashed, he would roll into the gap.

He stood up, recognizing his hands, legs, skin and clothes.

Where is Qhal?

He stepped forth and the flame walked with him, like an ominous crimson storm the goddess brought to save him. But he knew it was his. The flames were his, they were him.

And saved his life.

There was no sign of the faeries. Just an empty and loud world of eternal winter and wind and hollows around him, a real face of Ain’asel, merciless and unforgiving. And he was burning its roots. Unaware of it… but willingly.

The flames still licked the stone, when he saw Qhal. He seemed to not connect, lost in whatever reveire the shadow fairies put him into.


He would laugh bitterly. Qhal was sent to help him and now instead he was helping Qhal, with real worry under his heart. This was a mirage too. Fae are not to be helped. If the Shadow didn’t order him to go after him, he would not even try to guide him. Fae hearts were made of rot and darkness. And he had to save him from this, or he will never reach the palace.

The wind hit him with strength that again almost swept him off the cliff. Like if Ain’asel protested against his fire, wanted to quench it, kill it. Destroy it. And with fire – him.

He crouched next to Qhal. The fey’s eyes were open, yet he wasn’t seeing him. The fire diminished, last sparks dissipating over Qhal’s robe. The spell they put on him had to be stronger, which didn’t surprise him. Qhal was a fae and shadow creatures expected him to show much more resistance.

He looked around, surprised by his cold blooded calm. Like the fire took away his meek courage and reshaped it. Poured strength into his veins.

He saw the backpack Qhal was carrying with himself, tossed aside, tangled in lonely roots protruding off the mountain’s massive.

He tried to not think, not remember. The biting and crawling of vermin and creatures in his flesh hit his senses, hard, and he couldn’t remove them from his mind.

The Shadow likes to take the voice from his victims.

He felt as if the scar under his heart still pulsed with fire – not his fire, not a safe one but with old but still harming coals and stinging pain.

They hated him, with utter passion. And the one who took Mina away too.

His trembling hands started to search for the bottle with the liquid Qhal gave him after he found him. To pack his transparent throat with it and tear him from his mirages.

He felt terribly alone.

Alone, among cruel teeth of the sharp mountains and slowly gathering storm over the Shadowlands.

If Qhal won’t awake fast he will slap him into reality.


Without any second thought.

Qhal barely drank. But the drink slowly passed his throat. His eyes were still wide and not connecting, but his mouth uttered a faint sentence. Which made Tiyan shiver.

“Lorian’s… blood… give… his blood…”

Lorian’s blood.

Tiyan didn’t have any idea what he was talking about. Fucking Lorian’s blood. Did he expect him to know what it is? Tiyan started to feel that he should leave the fae alone, lost in the mirages. A good revenge – even if not him, an alien to him, a side he never expected to have – but he knew that he would freeze under this cold moon, if he parted with him.

He started to frantically seek through Qhal’s clothes. If he needs it, it has to be among things he carried… or… in the backpack. He almost fell in the snow, while trying to reach for it again. His hands felt like they again had to freeze. The vines that embraced them were slowly but persistently withering, like Qhal’s dismay was destroying his magic, even one he already cast. He almost tore the backpack with shaking hands – crawling vermin, eating his flesh, going deeper – when a small bottle fell on his hands. Small, transparent one, with blue liquid in it.

He uncorked it, an intense scent of moss reached his nose.

Whatever it was, it was blue. Like fae blood.

Again, his legs carried him under the rock crevice where the fey was sitting, like a dead doll. He poured the liquid into Qhal’s throat. Droplets falling off from his mouth, staining his transparent neck deep blue.

He hoped that he doesn’t make a mistake.

And that he isn’t killing Qhal now.

Categories fae fae fae


First of all, thank you, Darkenaz for your hard work with me over improving my novel and inspiring with ideas. You are great friend and such an creative artist. I am proud of being your friend.

Here are written thoughts about my main “love triangle” as funny as it sounds.

Lorian is with Nymre for a very long time. They have very young bodies so they love to use them and feel the fire – but I see Lorian as this 60+ husband, who lived most of his life with a woman and she grew into it, made herself omnipresent and he is with her, still, he can’t imagine not to. Of course this 60+ husband loves his wife. But… It’s comfortable love. Adding – in their case – good sex to it, fire, and lust, it makes it less obvious, almost hard to pinpoint. They know they will always be together, no matter what – Nymre rather kills Lorian’s lovers than blame him. He is, after all, part of her life that she can’t really imagine it without.

But… Leira is a strong one, bold. She is so different from Nymre, almost opposite. She is dark in a painful way, which Lorian can relate to. Nymre flatters his vanity, while Leira flatters his mind. Lorian sees that Nymre is possessive, she changed over time, just as he did. Nymre and Lorian knew each other when they were much younger and Lorian almost shaped Nymre’s ruthlessness. Leira is level-headed over him, she sees him as he really is – with his cruel personality, with his pain, and with everything that he hates about himself. He hurt her but she grew stronger from it. He regrets it, he really does. The darkness in him craved her pain, but… now he preferred to never do that. But at the same time he knew only that way he could pull her into his life. Even if he never planned to.

He trusts Leira, so she is the only person aside from forest priests, who knows about his pain. She found out by accident, but it left a strong impact on both of them. Lorian – always secretive, mysterious – now allows himself to ease and rely on someone, even if he still holds all threads in his hands. Leira doesn’t plan to change him. Doesn’t want to fix him, so to speak. She knows it’s impossible. He is as he is, and she learned to feel for him, to understand him. And became almost as dark as him. It’s not sweet romantic love. It’s dark love. They feel lust, that’s how they show it. And by dealing with the world together.

Women don’t impress Lorian ( no one in fact impresses him ). Even if Nymre did, it was some time ago. And he needs to be impressed. Otherwise he searches further. He must… admire. Leira filled this craving. Leira is “more”. And that’s why he drift towards her, until the very end.

Categories fairy realm

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Categories wip

ATOM: Shadowlands – I

Tiyan could feel like the mountains drank his soul from him, slowly, relentlesly; a gloomy passage through monotonous snow, accompanied with a dull howl of the intensifying wind. The clouds above their heads were amassing for two days, promising a storm. Tiyan knew about snow storms and how dangerous they can be in mountains. He was looking up in an almost masochistic way, trying to guess when it would arrive.

But the clouds were heavy and there was no storm; a looming danger, a promise, without outcome. Tiyan had to admit that it’s maybe not as bad as a deadly avalanche… but stealing something from himself, another particle of his courage, which was already shattered by the gate to AIn’asel.

Qhal seemed worried and that alone looked like danger wasn’t necessary above them. His steps became heavier, more calculated and his eyes were shifting. A moderately talkative fairy was replaced by a cautious and aware person who knew perfectly the scent of danger and felt it just right now.

Tiyan was good at walking in silence, but this time, among the sharp chasms which could open under his legs at any moment, he needed to hear a human voice. Even if it would not come from a human.

“Have you passed this passage before?” his voice, already muted by scarfs, was carried by the wind, making him almost inaudible. But Qhal heard.

He turned his hooded head in his direction, his green eyes were almost only things recognizable in the falling evening.

“No Soath lyth knows Shadowlands as much as they would want to” was an enigmatic response.

“That means no” Tiyan sighed, wind immediately pushing into his mouth, making him lose breathe for a moment.

Qhal smiled at him. His smile was a bit sad, like he felt guilty, but neither Tiyan suspected that any fae can feel guilty, nor he could admit he knows fae expression language.

“I know these mountains, Tiyan Markon. I was born here.”

Tiyan looked at him with a very cautious expression. Not that he doubted. Mere thought of growing up in this dim land of gaps and cruel tops, was not even surprising. Just… unpleasant to imagine.

“Sometimes most obvious things are hidden before the eyes” Qhal wasn’t smiling anymore, and Tiyan almost thought that he made some mistake in the fairy protocol. He almost waited for that, to see the real face of his guide. For his worries and fears to have any translation into reality. But Qhal didn’t intend to be violent, which almost disappointed Tiyan.


And it suddenly brought acid to his throat.

Fire, a burst of a flaming power, burning around him, while the shadowed presence slips under his clothes and enters him, like a lover, forbidden, dark and so uninvited.

And he never wanted to feel it again.

Qhal still looked at him with a curious gaze. His lips crooked in a mysterious smile. Tiyan almost felt that his face, or moves or literally anything sells him and his thoughts.

He almost felt relieved when Qhal turned back and resumed his journey.

The passage became tighter, the walls around them more steep and dangerous to walk by, the dark forms were piercing the skin of the stone and protruding from them, to make their path more difficult and risky, when they tried to not go too close to the edges. Mountains seemed even darker now, when twilight came, painting the sky with deep violets and ink. When they passed the rock pocket in the wall, Qhal decided – quite obviously for Tiyan – that they stop here. Tiyan sat in the corner, trembling from cold, looking at his hands, which now, touched by the green produced by his guide, were warmest part of his body. And Qhal… started to prepare the place to bite it with roots and embrace with vines.

It was not the first time Tiyan saw Qhal’s magic. But now, when the sun set completely behind the horizon, the spring that Qhal offered to winter was especially beautiful. The tendrils, luminated from within, spread over the frozen ground, drinking the water from the snow and growing, swelling and forming a green wonder above their heads. The wind stopped like a cut with an order. Tiyan’s ears huffed with relief, when the howling diminished. A dead and pleasant silence reigned in the closed. improvised arbor.

Tiyan knew that none of them needed to keep the watch, because the alcove separated them from all dangers. Yet… this time Qhal didn’t intend to rest. He instead started to brew something. A scent filled the arbor, not exactly tempting and not repulsive. Tiyan couldn’t find a way to describe it… like pine trees with mud. But it was still far from the actual scent, when he inhaled it.

Qhal didn’t boil the liquid and didn’t offer it to Tiyan. He just mixed the ingredients – whatever they were – and poured it into his throat. Tiyan could see how the liquid fills his pipe and quickly goes down. His transparents membrane trembling.

“You can drink?” Tiyan murmured. The silent tingling of the leaves was calming and relaxing. Yet Tiyan was far from a tranquil mood.

No more danger. No more pain.

“Yes” was Qhal’s reply, quite dettached and cold. Tiyan felt that he worries and that alone made him anxious. “Sleep. Better to pass this night sleeping.”

“And you?”

“I won’t.”

Tiyan observed as Qhal takes two more gulps of the drink he brewed. He didn’t even offer him the dry meat. Tiyan felt a creeping feeling under his skin, a feeling that Qhal was distraught, even scared, despite being safely concealed in a magical, green canopy.

That wasn’t encouraging. Tiyan was sure he wouldn’t fall asleep. Something hung in the air, an undeciphered threat.

But… he did.

He did, falling into a calm sleep, this time without nightmares… while Qhal’s green eyes reflected the arbor in an almost ominous way. Wells without end, green with emerald of the moss and woods.

The night fell on them and ate their shadows, leaving them in faint gleam of the leaves and vines…


He knows he woke up. He knows it, dreams pushing on his mind, but not entering it, like a storm cloud, looming. But he feels like dreaming, even if he is so awake.

Something crawling over his skin, his eyelids are heavy like stones. He hears voices. Silent, caressing his senses like velvet but bringing images that Tiyan doesn’t comprehend nor wants to. Illicited quickly, in a low tone. And cracking over him, like a burning bonfire. The voices reminds him of flames.

The crawling on his skin stops, but he feels that something amasses under his clothes, awaits and craves.

Mute darkness swallows the arbor, burying claws into the green, tearing the soul from the vines, and flesh from leaves. Silence. A dreadful silence of impatient prelude to dark.

He opens eyes, slowly, heavily, and sees Qhal as he tries to stop heavy eyelids from closing, in desperation. His hand crawling, like dettached from his body. Gathering earth. Trying to reach.


Limbs everywhere, broken faces, black like coals. Hazy mind, Qhal, where is Qhal? Dazy, he drowns in something soft, like feathers and… decomposing flesh, it reeks with old meat. It’s so soft, he wants to bury in it and sleep. His mind is almost not connecting. A small face, just over him. Black, with deep blue eyes, like translucent orbs. Tight lips spreads in a half smile, a small hand reaches to him, and lands on his chest.

Where is Qhal?

The hand reaches and reaches until it passes his skin. This can’t be real, he doesn’t feel pain, only need to fall asleep and never wake up.

The wings above him, on the pattern that is Qhal’s magic – green leaves connected in intricate swirls, and blue wings, waving like touched by  light wind. But here, the wind doesn’t come. It’s a windless arbor. Windless. But he feels the air which carries the scent of burned coal and rot.

Where is Qhal?

He feels as if something runs a hand over his hair. Pulls. And releases.

He hears something, Whispers. “Shadow’s pet”. He is Shadow’s pet.

Is he?

He isn’t pet.

He isn’t anyone’s pet.

The carving over his chest suddenly starts to sting, while many small hands trail the path over it, spreading his jacket and shirt. Someone takes the pendant from under his clothes, someone smiling and awfully misplaced, like a burned doll.

Where is Qhal? Qhal?

Where is he?

Is he also Shadow’s pet?

They think he is. Tiyan is.

The feathers are so soft.

He is looking at the burned wonders, so wrong in their flawed beauty.

And  is awake enough to taste the coal.

Categories fairy realm

This Cruel Pain – I

This is a few chapters long story, on how it all started between Alnam and Lorian. They already despised each other, but not as much as after the events. Let’s just say that Corvel wasn’t killed because of having eyes for Nymre 😉 Lorian is not a fool. He would not kill a son of Alnam because of a woman. Alnam though, never knew the real reason…


Dal’coler was… intimidating. To say the least. Living his whole life in his father’s property, not visiting the palace, the first impression pushed Corvel into the ground. The stone walls, which were guarded by the magical barriers, were biting into the mountain side, like teeth of the predator in its prey’s throat. When he and Alnam were passing the gates, many eyes looked at them – stone eyes, brimming with strange intelligence that things shouldn’t have.

Alnam seemed focused on the goal, which was passing the gate and only this. In his opinion, Dal’coler was not a good place for Corvel, at least no until he learns its ways. He was too naive, still, too young. Court schemes should be left to older fey. Like him. Or any other with more than four hundred years. But Corvel gave him no choice. It was his biggest dream and Alnam hoped it will appear for him as he dreamed it, not a disappointment.

The lonely passages that surrounded the heart of the palace, breathed with melancholy. Filled with stone sculptures surrounded by ever hungry vines. Pierced by roots, just like walls. The place had a beautiful aura of something decaying in all its glory. Reaching to them with talons made of mist and night.

Alnam loved Dal’coler.

Corvel touched the wall with badly concealed fascination. He stood in that pose, like the stone was telling him long forgotten stories – and maybe it did, each fey felt Dal’coler differently. Personally. Corvel pressed on Alnam for months to be taken to the court. Wintery court for an autumnal child, born seven hundred years too late…

Without saying anything they passed the main corridor, leading to the throne room. As custom wanted from each lord, younglings were submitted under judgment of the king. Alnam already had enough of old customs, at least those who were changed. Current king didn’t keep to tradition, unless it was comfortable for him. And gods help them, the young fae were pleased when nothing like that bound them. Bliss and violence. Darkness and illusion of freedom.

The corridor became wider, more overwhelming. The roots and even whole trees were growing straight from high, looming walls. Alnam was drinking it like delicious wine. But he saw that his own autumnal child was not used to the dark aura of this place. At least as much as High Fae could not be used to their natural element.

Corvel, though visibly nervous, enjoyed the visit, which could start being his key to blind and moody but also generous fortune.

Alnam was sure that for Corvel, change of the environment, may be both his saving point, like his damnation. He liked to think, that rather saving point. Corvel was maybe inexperienced in court life, but filled with inner flame.

Dal’coler already injected its poison into their veins, brimming in them, promising more than they could ever get. Corvel looked enchanted. Boy should know that with his blood and strong budding magic, he could bind many humans and lowest fey here with such thick magical thread, that they would never be able to set themselves free.

Oh, he was surely aware of his own power. Alnam minded to pass him that knowledge. But Corvel was only thirty. A man who was still a child. Too young to truly spread his wings.

A small lesser fey approached, bowing before them, her opalescent wings gleaming with their own light in darkness.

“My lords… king Lorian was told that you arrived. He… waits for you in the throne room.”

The slight pause the lesser fey did, told Alnam, that Lorian either doesn’t wait for them at all, busy with own affairs… or prepares himself to just reject Corvel. It was not a secret before them that both disliked each other. Alnam thought that Lorian is a brat with huge ego. Lorian thought that Alnam would one day oppose him openly. The words filled with toxic brew they both exchanged, always were heavy with animosity – the court possibly predicted Alnam’s fall already.

A human woman passed the corridor, far from them, yet Alnam stopped his gaze on her. Blonde hair, oval, beautiful face – features like taken from an old tale… and well known human fear in her eyes. Alnam knew her. She was Lorian’s slave. Strangely still alive. Lorian captured her on the wild hunt. He remembered her better than others, for some reason.

Alnam’s gaze lingered in place where she was, when she disappeared.

Corvel looked with badly concealed interest at the throne room, when they entered the chamber. Alnam needs to teach him to not stare. Not here, when each step was watched by many eyes. Some of them, with attention only, some – with hunger.

He saw Lorian as soon as they entered.  Filled with tempting enchantment… and all of this in the wrong, distorted way. When Lorian took the throne, Alnam hoped that he will be a king who will be at least in small amount similar to his father, Marnsul. Marnsul was rigid but fair and Alnam was proud to call him his friend. Lorian yet, even if at first seeming a perfect match with the throne… with time turned to show his true, cruel face. Lorian didn’t have children, though and that was giving less hope. Only offspring can replace a king. And of course the assassin’s hand. But in Lorian’s case, trying to kill him was madness. His magic was too strong and that alone was making Alnam hope he will get his woman pregnant, the sooner, the better.

Or any woman, that is.

Lorian was conversing with her exactly. Her face tensed, she was not agreeing with him and that seemed to displease him too. Worst moment to present Corvel, thought Alnam, but what has been done, couldn’t be undone.

He felt Lorian’s attention on them, rather than saw, as he still seemed to be focused on Nymre. But he felt it, deep under his skin. Lorian looked at them slowly, almost lazily and Alnam bowed, his expression a perfect mask of calm composure, Corvel following his example.

“My lord… my son, Corvel Devlon” presented Alnam.

“My lord” smiled Corvel. He was moved by the atmosphere of the capital, so much. Fire in his eyes and probably in his soul too.

At least that.

Lorian stood up, Nymre looking at Corvel with curiosity. The fey ruler approached, stepping down to them.

Alnam wanted to shake Corvel, so he straightened, for dark woods’ sake.

Lorian smiled charmingly. Like he was really glad from their arrival, which Alnam knew was not true.

“Look at me, boy. I need to see your heart.”

Corvel raised his eyes, flaming and passionate, holding darkness of another, purer kind. And brushed over Lorian’s black holes. His gaze drifted though and suddenly landed on Nymre.

Alnam cursed in his mind. Because his son’s gaze landed on Nymre and stayed there. Longer than it should in such situation.

Lorian’s eyes followed Corvel’s and his smile from perfect became perfect and predatory.

“Many wonders are to be found by you in Dal’coler. I am glad that you found some even before being accepted as a part of the court.”

Alnam decided it’s time to enter and stop this. Corvel was not making good impression. And gods know what he was thinking.

“My lord… will you do the honor to our family and take my son under your wings?”

Lorian managed to cause Corvel to focus on him again. The boy really needs to learn how to be a lord, though Alnam. Maybe the court will carve that in him, even by the price of wounds.

“Your son is a promising young fae, such high flame, such intriguing… mind” Lorian’s smile still lighting up his features. “I like seeing what Devlonmere has to offer, always. Fresh blood is delicious.”

“I am glad to hear that” Alnam pressed his teeth. “This is pure joy… how it could be otherwise.”

“The first day in the palace is always the most enthralling one. I will send someone so to show him his place, a one he truly deserves. So he could revel in tempting beauty of his new home.”

Alnam felt like hit by the moon spear.

“I will show him myself, my lord. You surely need all your servants.”

“Lesser fey can do the task without blinking an eye. Let them enjoy. Let them feed their eyes with new face.”

Alnam smiled too. His grin stark and pure, a waking up sun. A young radiant star.

Lorian was testing him, but Alnam was both used to it… and ready for it. Corvel looked at Lorian with curiosity, which could move mountains to tell him their secrets.

Yes, you will learn, that not all here is what it seems. And most of residents of Dal’coler will faster eat you than level you up.

They didn’t like each other, even if they would never really frontally attack. Alnam knew why Lorian does it and Lorian knew what to expect from Alnam. They both danced on the edge of the colossal munument and the pit under them was filled with broken glass, which any of them wasn’t that eager to fall onto. He didn’t even blame Lorian – he would do exactly the same.

Alnam just hoped that hidden gaze that Corvel gave Nymre again, was only an accidental one.

But of course it wasn’t.

Of course.

Foolish boy.

Alnam was furious, how badly it all went, deep under easy words and court politeness. Corvel should know better.

They all should know better.