The High Queen Sorceress (complete)
Author: jessicaw

Chapter 6
chapter 6

Dana and Lauranna sat in the open gardens discussing things from long ago. It had been decades since the sisters last saw each other. Lauranna was just as tall and pale as her little sister. They shared the exact same frame, delicate wrists and long, slender fingers. The only difference between the two were their faces and the color of their hair.

Lauranna had crystal clear blue eyes set in cat shaped settings compared to Dana’s green, almond shaped eyes. While both had the same high cheek bones and oval jaw line, Dana had ruby red lips and Lauranna’s were a pale pink, closer to a flesh color. Her long, Honey blonde hair cascaded all the way down her back, resting just a couple of inches above her hem, in the exact same manner as Dana’s red tresses.                      

On this evening, Dana wore a thin, green dress that matched the green shade of her eyes perfectly. The sleeves hugged her arms, billowing out slightly at her wrists and covered half of her hands. She wore a thin, braided golden belt around her waist and a long, golden chain hung from her neck, adorned with a large silver and gold flower.       

Lauranna wore a dress of periwinkle blue with a slightly darker blue embroidery of leaves that curled through the fabric. It was adorned with white lace around the hem and the sleeves, which had the same shape as her sister’s. The white lace wrapped around her waist and swept down the front in a V-shape, meeting the hems at the bottom. The inside of the V-shape was a solid colored fabric in the darker blue color It also adorned the bosom.              

It was a dark night and most of the stars in the sky were clear and vivid. The air was warm and comfortable. The sisters sat in white, iron chairs that had intricate patterns of roses and lilies works into the back, matching the table.

Delicate pastries lay spread out across the table. Sweet pink wine bubbled in large crystal glasses with golden hand painted rims.    

 The women sat, laughing and knocking their heads together in sisterhood. “Do you remember Radga?” Lauranna asked. Dana blushed into the night sky, her ruby lips parting wide to reveal sparkling white teeth. She didn’t answer her sister but burst out laughing, slapping her wrist as she bent in hysterics. Lauranna couldn’t keep it together any longer, her sister’s merriment was too much to handle. The women lost over to fits of hysterical laughter. The memories of their childhood friend needed not be put into words.      

Above, the stars twinkled brightly. There was a faint sound of things colliding. Dana and Lauranna stopped in mid giggle, forgetting their fun as they turned their attentions to the Heavens.                          

As they watched, one of the stars grew several times its size, becoming brighter and brighter. It had a distinctive orange hue. Dana and Lauranna watched the star in quiet apprehension. The star quickly grew, glowing in mounting intensity as it did.

It was now ten times larger than anything else in the sky. They watched it for quite some time. After a while, there was another faint crack and another star began to grow, giving off the same orange glow. The two stars glowed brighter and larger than anything else in the sky, they were identical, giving off the appearance of eyes watching the sisters. After another long length of time, they slowly began to dim. Within another five minutes, they were gone entirely, almost as if they never even existed.                           

The sisters looked to each other. The night was dead quite. Nothing stirred. Dana looked up at the sky and back to Lauranna. “Which one do you think it was?” She asked. Lauranna rubber her temple, her long slender fingers caressing her neck as she brought her hand down, allowing it to settle in her lap.      

“There has been talk” She began. “Tyforid has been warring lately. Kaputa recently suffered several natural disasters and Hoga has been playing with dangerous things. There have been troubling signs from the western most hemispheres. My advisor said the troubles were of men, Kaputa has suffered no war and is a land of Lipiegs, not men. With Hoga in the North, I am left to conclude that Tyforid was the one to suffer.” Dana blinked. “And their mirror planet?” 

  Lauranna scanned the table, picking up a small, yellow square and inspecting it before biting into the moist chocolate center. “Surely you do not expect me to know that. How are any of us to know the worlds that are connected other than our own?” Dana thought it over for a moment. “Yes, I suppose your right, I really don’t care anyway. War is such a useless thing. What could those savages possibly have been fighting over anyway?”  

“They are not savages, Dana.” Lauranna corrected her. “Just because they are different than us, human or not, it does not make them savages.” 

“War is practiced only by savages.” Dana said in a casual tone. Lauranna sighed a heavy sigh. Her eyes swept over the dark outlines of the flowers that swelled in masses around them.                                             

“My advisor has warned of masses swarming from the east.” “Yes yes I know, Falfa has been rambling on and on about it.” Lauranna returned her gaze to her sister’s green eyes. “Rambling is not an apt way to describe such a serious threat. Do you not have a formidable army in your retainer? Have you no protection?”    

  Dana scoffed. “An army, dear sister? There is no use for such a thing. The world does not need war, you have just accounted for what it can do. So long as I am Queen, I can stop the war.” Lauranna laughed. “Still think that all issues can be neutralized though peace and love and pretty things? Dear sister, it is time to grow up.”

  Dana was furious. Her face turned as red as her hair. “I have protection enough!” She hissed, standing as she did. Lauranna rose as well. “Baby sister; be advised that your protection will not be enough when angry mobs come pounding at the palace walls. There are witches among the common. They will shield against us. They will allow the mirror to fail. Your idea of an army will be no good in the face of them. You need to spend less time among the flowers and more time dealing with the politics you hate. The worlds are aligning as they do only every four thousand years. You remember the stories of Kadala. She sacrificed herself unwillingly for a land of mortals and they destroyed her. You would be wise to recruit the men of your lands, and to align the men of theirs.”

The reprimandment stung. Dana’s face felt hot as she slammed her fist on the table, her sleeve softening the blow ever so slightly. The table shook from her force. “I am not as stupid as you so choose to make me out. I will participate in no war, mortal or magic. It makes no difference. I will not involve myself with politics and you, dear sister, would be wise to tread lightly on turf that is not yours.”    

She swept her long skirt around her thin frame as she marched into the gardens, talking in soothing tones to her flowers, apologizing to them for her sister’s ignorance. “Flowers.” Lauranna sighed, as she watched Dana’s form disappear into the dark. She turned, stood up and walked back towards the light of the palace.  

  Falfa was waiting at the door. He bowed deeply as she approached. “All is well I hope?” He asked, not really wanting to know the answer. Lauranna looked down at him. “You have seen the armies gather?” “Yes, my lady. It was I who sent word.” His head was still bent over, but he was standing now. “I appreciate that. It was wise to let me know. Please, I wish to see it too. I need you to advise me as though I were your queen.” Falfa looked up eagerly. “Yes my lady. Anything you wish.” Finally he had a leader more interested in politics and strategies than flowers. Lauranna glanced at him.                                                    

“You must not think Dana stupid or belittle her flowers. She is a smart woman; she will do all she can to protect you if the need arises.” “Yes my lady, I apologize for my sins against the crown.” He replied. He forgot she could read his thoughts.    

Falfa lead Lauranna inside and up through the palace. They walked down a long hall and around a curved corner, followed by another hallway and up a small set of stairs. They walked about half the length of the hall before coming at last to the seer’s room. Falfa pushed the door open. The room was empty and dark. The air was freezing. Inside of the seer’s room, it was always freezing.   

Falfa waited as Lauranna entered, then closed the door behind them. The glass let off a soft glow that allowed the two to see just enough so as not to trip over anything. Falfa lit a candle and placed it in to a glass case that hung from the wall.  He walked around the room and lit several more candles, placing each into its own case.  

Lauranna paused without moving. She stood tall and still like a statue. Her eyes were fixated on the glass, her hands lay limp at her sides. When Falfa finished lighting the last lamp, he came and stood by her. Without a sound, he took a small pouch from the inside of his tunic and dropped a perfectly shaped crystal into his open hand. It was smooth and polished, it sides glimmering in the lamp light. It was completely clear; causing it to take on the hue of the light. Falfa closed his eyes and began rolling it back and forth between his fingers, reciting the spell his successor had taught him. The crystal combed in and out of his fingers, back and forth, back and forth. Lauranna continued to stare at the seer’s glass, never blinking once as she waited with baited breath.   

 Falfa continued to chant as he brought the crystal up towards the glass. The closer it got, the more they both began to glow. The Seer’s glass had also taken on the light of the room, but unlike the crystal, the glass turned milky as strands of color swirled through it like smoke. This illusion soon gave way to a solid dim orange.     

Once the smoky strands had vanished, Falfa took the crystal and stabbed the seer’s glass right in the middle of the square. The crystal immediately began to dissolve, melting and absorbing into it like ice on a hot stone.          

As the crystal dissipated, the glass began to turn grey as the middle swirled with shades of greens and browns. The colors started to form into a solid wall and soon an image materialized, filling the square with a terrifying scene.

Falfa stood quietly, watching as the image of people moved westward across the land, shooting birds as they flew overhead and murdering nesting rabbits. Lighting fires to the woods and defecating in the stream.   

Lauranna leaned forward as a soft gasp escaped her throat. Time sped up as the glass fast forwarded itself. The men destroyed an entire city. They marched away, leading prisoners tied to a rope as they laughed. A man trotted by with the defeated king’s head on a stake. Time continued to move on.        

These were dark times. Men and women lay dying in the streets, shops and homes had been ransacked and looted, people were held up and stripped of anything they had. Glass and other broken debris lay scattered; towns that had been burnt to their foundations dotted the world. There were no cows or chickens or pigs, no water, no milk for the babies. All of the nutrients the ground once sheltered had been robbed, rendering the once rich soil barren.      

The Glass sped up several hundred years. The earth was now completely brown. There were no more trees. Stream beds lay cracked and forgotten. There were few people left, those who were ailed from sickness or starvation. The remains of Queens hung from the highest peaks of their castles.               

Time continued to advance. Sorceresses fought with the King and his vast army. The sorceresses could not fight them all. One by one, they fell. As time continued to pass, the sorceresses were almost completely destroyed, they had come in waves to fight the men, but the men had some kind of shield against them.           

There were no more than a handful of sorceresses left in the entire world. They aligned themselves and cast a powerful spell to bring the men down, but somehow, they made a mistake. The world was over. It exploded with such violence and force that the entire world, it’s moons included, vaporized on impact. 

Lauranna, who was still leaning on the table, stood up sharply. The red of her cheeks completely gone. She stared at the wall as the images continued to swirl. She thought she might be sick. Without looking down, she stretched her hand out and extended her index finger, letting it slip along the glass. The images wavered and started to ripple as if they were water. She withdrew her finger as it came to the end of the glass. It turned solid grey for a few moments before the color faded away. It stood tall and completely clear, reflecting the colors of the lamps off of it. “I need to sit down” Falfa rushed to rid a chair of its burden, placing books on the floor and the table in the process. Once it was cleared, Lauranna fell into the seat, her hair and skirts whipping around her. 

 “Are you alright majesty, should I get you a drink?” Lauranna glanced up at Falfa but said nothing. She thought a moment longer then replied. “No, I will get my own water.” Without notice, a small, glass cup appeared in the air as water poured from an invisible pitcher. Once the cup was full, Lauranna reached up and took the cup. She drank deeply, draining the glass. She set the glass on the table and it dissolved into the wood, leaving a dark wet stain as it disappeared.     

She sat for a moment longer, thinking. At last, she looked up at Falfa who was watching her intently, as he waited patiently. “And my sister has not seen this?” “No Majesty.” “Nor does she wish to see it?” “No Majesty.” 

A sad, pained look stole across his face. Lauranna felt a pang of pity for the man. He was doing everything he could to get Queen Dana to listen, but she simply refused to help. She had signed her death certificate and his too.

She smiled at him, the red coming back to her cheeks as she did, her soft pink lips glistening in the candle light. “I think perhaps it was a smart thing that you did to go behind my sister’s back and ask me for my help. I will not tell her of your betrayal as I know your intentions have been good and pure of heart. I will try to work on my sister in the way that only a sister would know how. Please keep your distance, she has a temper and a hand to be reckoned with, I would not want you injured on account of that.”   

Falfa smiled back at her as relief flooded to his face. “Yes Majesty, I cannot thank you enough.” He bowed deeply with gratitude. Lauranna quickly bade him to stand, she never really cared for anyone bowing to her, she didn’t view herself above anyone and only tolerated the gesture as was required in public by the people and her crown.      

“I’m tired” She said. “Please escort me to my room?” Falfa puffed his chest out with pride. “Of course majesty.” He replied, taking her long, slender hand in his own. Her skin was soft and smelled so nice. He admired the beauty of her fingers, the shape of them and the soft pink shade of her nails.                     

She was even prettier than Queen Dana. The two of them walked out of the Seer’s room and back through the castle, he stopped at her door and waited for her to dismiss him. She turned to him. “Good night Falfa, thank you for an enlightening experience. Tomorrow, it would be wise to disappear for the day.” Falfa nodded his understanding, bowing just a little. As he came up, she kissed him on the cheek then walked into her room, shutting the door behind her as his face glowed red.

Lauranna woke early in the morning. The sun had yet to come out and some of the servants were just beginning to stir. She swept through the halls and out to the gardens. Once there, she stopped for a moment, admiring the beauty of Dana’s handiwork. Everywhere she turned, she was met with flowerbeds bursting in lush green leaves and every shade and kind of flower possibly known. Vines climbed the walls and trellises, rose bushes grew tall and in the distance, she could hear water running down a fountain.

 

The effects of the garden helped to calm her. It had a restless night filled with nightmares and worry. All of the sorceresses were going to die and the home she loved destroyed.  The seer’s glass was a thing to show what would come. It was a definite, a way to see into the future- and, if necessary, change it. It was a powerfully dangerous thing that could be used for all the wrong reasons.              

Sorceresses had been entrusted with it because they were the only ones who could protect it. There was only one such glass in the entire world. It belonged to the house of Mauna. Her house. Her family had been entrusted with the glass because of their bravery and loyalty to the lands and to the people thousands of years ago, not to mention their power. They were the keepers of peace, it was their responsibility to protect the two worlds and keep everything as it should be. Dana and Lauranna had been groomed since birth to protect the lands and the people.    

When Lauranna was about sixteen and Dana eight, their mother was resetting the glass. She mispronounced one of the ancient spells, rushing because a terrible war had recently been detected and she did not know how much time remained to stop it.    

The glass caught fire with their mother’s fingers still attached. Her energy, having been bound to the energy of the glass from the spells she was weaving, caused her to also go up in flames.      

Dana witnessed the whole thing. She stood motionless, watching as her mother was devoured, her painful screaming ripping through Dana’s tiny body, making her feel as if her insides were being ripped out. 

The entire room was devoured by the furious energies, their orange and yellow arms pulling at the tapestries on the walls and turning the white marble floors blacker than coal.   

Within a matter of minutes, the entire room was gone, burning the room and everything in it. It would have ate into the rest of the castle, but stopped at the door. Dana’s force field not only protected her, but kept the flames at bay. 

The effort drained her and she fell to the floor in a heap, weak with her efforts and sobbing uncontrollably. There was nothing left in the room. It was a dark hole, only the marble table and the glass remained, untouched as if nothing ever happened.

Dana was bed ridden for weeks, recovering from the efforts of controlling a magical fire. She wept uncontrollably, blaming herself for their mother’s death. Lauranna tried desperately to comfort her baby sister, but Dana wanted nothing to do with anyone. 

When she eventually came around, she was restless and moody. She blamed the wars of the mortal men. If it wasn’t for their war, their mother would have taken her time and still be alive. Dana hated war. She hated the cold dark room where their mother had died.

Their father tried to console her and teach her as their mother was; but he was only a sorcerer, not as powerful or high ranking as their mother. He did not know how to teach Dana to control and harness her power.  

Lauranna stepped in and taught Dana as best as she could; but Dana wanted nothing to do with learning how to be the High Queen, refusing to listen and learn as she should have.

 

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