The extravagant building covered with a deep foreboding stood hidden amongst the rural hillsides and woodlands of the Country of Burwell. Despite ongoing war and the passing of time, the occupant of the mansion, which was almost castle like, seemed to avoid such important matters. It was as if they helped cover up her misdeeds and hunger for power perfectly. Maybe it was because she wasn’t powerful yet like she wished to be.
Calynn was purely evil. Losing her father to an illness and her mother soon after from sorrow filled her with rage. To her, her father had been weak and her mother selfish. They accepted death too easily and that was something she would never accept herself. She had to find a way to live, and to gain power and authority that she knew would take time. Especially with how powerful and influential some were nowadays.
The woman exuded prestige, with the movements of gracefulness and beauty. Her speech was articulate and perfect, but could also be intimidating. It was how she had gained the favour of many who became her own personal ‘army’. Not like an army like the military, but enough to guard her well and fight for her in her own personal matters.
For the moment she was sat on a throne like chair that gave her an inkling of what it would feel like to rule the countries. It was a little thrill and pleasure she could barely take a sip of, but she would take it. Her porcelain white skin and jet black hair were such a stark contrast that made her so exquisitely and dangerously beautiful. Even her eyes were of a dark stunning hue that seemed to turn black when angered. And she always painted her lips red, a colour she loved.
Rather than holding a high, proud stature, she slumped in her seat, her elbow on the arm of the ‘throne’ and her fingertips massaging her forehead. Her face was disturbed and annoyed, thinking deeply.
“Your highness,” a gentleman in full armour spoke to her, bowing before her, as they had grown accustomed to. They knew she was of no high status but their history with her made them fear her.
“What is it?” she almost growled, her eyes opening slowly before turning to fix them on the man.
“We have tracked down Lucian and returned him here for deserting. What would you like us to do with him?” he asked seriously, his gaze still towards the ground. The woman frowned, all beauty seeming to fade into a nasty, terrifying scowl.
“Kill him,” she didn’t even hesitate, “I will not have deserters running free nor trying to plead their way back to me. I will not risk it happening again.”
“Your highness…” the man went to speak his thoughts, wishing her to forgive the man Lucian, but stopped himself. When she was angry she was ruthless. Hoping to give the man a chance, he decided on his next words, “I will have him thrown in prison and arrange for the execution.”
“Go,” Calynn shooed him with her hand, tearing her eyes away from him, her brow still furrowed, “Do as you wish.” The man bowed quickly and moved away, not saying another word in case she changed her mind. As soon as the door banged shut she let out a small growl, sitting up straight, staring ahead into the distance of the large, cold and dark room.
When she had wiped out that pitiful elf village, she had successful destroyed and consumed part of the Great Tree. It was rumoured to give eternal beauty, life and immortality. She had always been beautiful and her genes made her aging process not so obvious at first, but she had noticed it. The fine lines appearing on her face, the crow’s feet beginning to appear on the outer corners of her eyes. It was a frightening thing she couldn’t bear.
So she had done what she felt she needed to do. After all, she needed more time to try to reach her goal. A goal she was determined to reach. Even if it meant taking down people such as that damned Emperor Erebus. Such a kind hearted Emperor. It disgusted her. When she had eaten from that tree she had been internally ecstatic to find the fine lines disappear, and her growing weariness become almost non-existent. It had worked.
But not quite.
She had returned that day confident and therefore become careless. A little while later, a wife of one her men in the army had tried to kill her. The wife had snuck in as a maid in the mansion and, on seeing her, had whipped out a knife and tried to stab her, wailing how she had brainwashed her husband into submission and she was a monster. In her tear filled rage she had cut her arm and then stabbed her in her side. Calynn, having thought she was immortal as well, had carelessly not been so defensive and hadn’t had as many bodyguards. It had bothered her that she could never truly be alone. That carelessness had nearly cost her her life. Eternal beauty? Yes. Eternal life? If not killed, yes. She would live on and on. Immortality? What immortality?
The crazed wife had been thrown into prison while Calynn had retreated to her quarters. Her personal doctor had tended to her and told her she was lucky. The knife had been large and almost got her artery. She had fought for her life for the next few days. At first she would have had the woman killed, but instead she had her banished from the area along with her children. After that she swore she would find out the truth regarding immortality. The person who fed her false information would pay for it or find out the truth before she could kill him.
“Your highness!” another man rushed in, this time the head of her army.
“Yes?” she almost sighed, starting to feel tired from the stress. The man knelt before her, head bowed just as the previous man did, “It is regarding the information about the elven village.” That perked her up, making her sit up straight, leaning forward a little as her eyes narrowed at him, “Stand and go on, Cain.” Cain stood up straight as she had commanded and answered her, “Darrin found information on the immortality aspect of the rumour. After much research and searching he has heard that the reason why it never worked as there is a high probability that you need the blood of one of the elves that it protected. As it looked after them, the people was its treasure. So it can be seen that it would do anything to protect them from harm. If you take the blood of its’ elf, you will be protected.”
“What?” Calynn stood up, feeling her body tense as she clenched her fists, her eyes ablaze, “We killed every last elf there. Are you saying my aim is doomed?!” She almost yelled at the top of her lungs. Cain didn’t seem fazed at all. Instead, he just waited patiently for a moment before continuing, “We are not, m’lady.”
“And how is that?” she snapped, she stamped her foot, leaning further forward with sheer anger and frustration on her face. Cain calmly replied, “I impaled a girl there. I returned later to retrieve the sword but when I arrived the girl was missing. Only the sword lay on the ground. There were footsteps in the ash. Someone came and took her. Surely the girl lived or she would never have been moved unless she meant something important to the person even when dead. In which case they most likely would have buried her but there was no grave around.”
“So…” Calynn thought for a moment, physically relaxing a bit, “One lives.” She took a moment, thinking on how many years it had been. Nine years. Almost a decade. She couldn’t really remember the girl so well.
“Cain?” she called, not as a gentle question but in a strong, almost commanding voice. The man bowed again, knowing she was about to make an order, “Yes, your highness?”
“Do you remember the girl’s face?” she asked.
“Yes I do,” he replied, “I remember it well.” He remembered it well because he had been inches from her when he had impaled her. He had remembered her pain stricken face filled with despair at seeing all she knew die and that she would die too…supposedly. It caused a flicker of pain in his heart. He followed Calynn, yes, but killing a young girl amongst other young ones was difficult for him. Thankfully, being elves they lived a bit longer, so no babies and very little children had been around. Sometimes there would be years before more would have children.
“Find her,” was the command he was issued with, “Bring her to me as soon as you capture her.” When he looked up at the woman he saw she wore a dark expression, almost crazed, her lips twisting up into a crooked, terrifying smile as she said, “I’ll torture and drain her of her blood. I’ll make sure she dies along with the chance for immortality.”
“As you wish,” he said and took his leave, determined to find the girl who would now be a woman. It would take a while but he would find her even if it was the last thing he would do. He didn’t quite understand the obsession he and the others who followed her had with following her. But he felt compelled to do as she wished, and now the girl was an adult, he wouldn’t hesitate.