Chapter 6.1

One of the most fascinating productions of faith is myth. For some reason, people feel the need to express their faith through the telling of stories about their deity or deities. About their impressive exploits, possibly their offspring and their exploits too, and of course about their origin. Origin myths are the most fascinating of all.

Some deities supposedly pre-date the existence of the world as we know it, its creation one of their exploits. As this raises the question of where the deity came from, many faiths find something to pre-date even their deities, allowing for their birth or another form of spawning the being. Some gods were even born after the creation of humanity, though these tend to be minor gods. Yet, this reveals that, no matter how convinced the faithful are of the opposite, the hierarchy of the heavens is not stable.

***

Avarron woke up in bewilderment. “What a strange dream,” he muttered.

Looking around, he found himself lying on the kitchen floor, with a pillow supporting his head. He couldn’t remember taking a pillow. But then, he also didn’t remember deciding to sleep on the kitchen floor. In fact, he couldn’t remember anything that happened after going for dinner. Reality seemed to have shifted seamlessly into that strange dream.

As he tried to figure out where reality ended and dream began, his stomach rumbled. In no recollection his memory could come up with, did he have dinner last night. Or much food at all, throughout the day. He jumped up and once again rushed towards the cabinet that Xeneon had pointed to before.

As he opened it, a high-pitched voice screamed: “Boo!”

Startled, Avarron involuntarily took a step backwards. Like in his dream, a blue and green light flew out of the cabinet and disappeared, as the voice giggled: “Heehee, gotcha again!”

Am I still dreaming?” he wondered out loud.

You are awake,” Eleana said behind him. She got up from her sleeping place: a wooden bank she had covered in pillows and came over to him. “Would you tell me what concerns you over breakfast, my knight?” she suggested.

Avarron’s stomach rumbled in agreement with her suggestion. “Breakfast sounds great,” he smiled at her.

They emptied the cabinet out on the table and quickly sorted out the different pieces of meat, cheese, bread and vegetables. Still smiling at each other, they sat down on opposite sides of the table.

Avarron looked at the exposition of food on the table, wondering what he’d start with. As soon as he made up his mind, that piece of food floated over to his plate. He looked in confusion at Eleana. She seemed shocked, though not as surprised as he was.

As soon as a voice started talking, she buried her face in her hands. It was a high-pitched, fast talking voice, seemingly highly excited: “I’m very sorry for last night, Sir Avarron. I really didn’t intend to inconvenience you, my lord.”

Avarron looked around for the origin of the voice, which seemed to come from nowhere at all. At that moment, the green-blue light that had flown out of the cabinet earlier popped into sight, hovering over the table. Now that it remained still in the air, Avarron could see the outline of a female figure inside it. “Sorry again,” the figure said. “I’m Llaweyra. I hope you’re not too angry about last night?”

Avarron looked at the fairy in awe. At least, whatever he was looking at looked like a fairy, from the old tales. But they were just tales. Nothing but the imagination of superstitious people, such as these villagers. He turned to Eleana, wondering if he wasn’t still dreaming after all.

It doesn’t make sense to me either, but I’m sure that master Xeneon has a rational explanation for it,” she told him, trying to sound comforting though her voice was shaky.

Are you saying that this…,” Avarron pointed a shaking finger at the fairy. “…is Nevarran knowledge too?”

I don’t know,” Eleana admitted, searching for an acceptable explanation she could offer the knight.

The fairy made a loop through the air. “I’m right here, you know,” she said slightly upset.

They both looked at her again. “Is Master Xeneon up?” Eleana asked.

The fairy perked up at the received attention. “Yes, Panos is up. He just didn’t want to disturb you. Which I think is not proper hospitality, so I went to serve you breakfast instead. Shall I call him?”

Yes, please,” Eleana said, wondering at the reason for the fairy’s sudden politeness.

Llaweyra dashed toward’s Xeneon’s room, screaming: “Heee, this is so exciting!”

Not long after, Panos Xeneon entered the kitchen and joined them at the table. Llaweyra sat on his shoulder. “I believe you had some questions for me?” he asked calmly.

The fairy,” They both said immediately. “She was in a dream I had,” Avarron added.

Xeneon shook his head with a sigh. “I’m afraid that was not a dream. Fairies are powerful in matters of the mind,” He explained.

I said I’m sorry!” Llaweyra added.

Avarron stared incredulously at Xeneon. “Fairies are real?” he asked. He knew that it was impossible, but it was hard to deny his own eyes. Something told him he had to believe the old man.

Allow me to explain,” Xeneon said calmly. Eleana nodded eagerly.

Seeing that he held their attention, Xeneon said: “This village lies within a hole in the Veil. I am still in the process of finding out how and why, but I am almost certain it is linked to an event that took place here about two hundred years ago. There is a story about a necromancer, and I have strong evidence to believe that this necromancer was your ancestor, Avarron. Since his visit, the forest has been haunted.”

That is absurd on so many accounts,” Avarron told them, quickly losing his faith in the wizard. Eleana and Xeneon looked at him. “First, Donash never left Windvale. Second, you’re off by a century and a half. And third, there’s no such thing as a haunted forest.”

Avarron, please understand that Master Xeneon has not been in Nevarus for a long time. He’s not aware of recent developments,” Eleana argued.

He was willing to accept that. Obviously, the old man had been living quite the hermit life. Xeneon, however, was not as easily pacified. “So those five fools have decided to give up after all,” he snorted. “Pathetic.”

It’s not giving up, it’s adapting,” Eleana argued. “But now is not the time for such arguments.”

No, my girl. This is exactly the time for such arguments,” Xeneon turned to Avarron. “I don’t care what nonsense you’ve been taught as a child, but I suggest you open your eyes. If you plan to continue your journey north, you’ll have to pass through the Witchwood and it received that name for a reason.”

Superstition and heresy would be that reason,” Avarron bit back.

Bah, pure blind zealotry,” Xeneon dismissed him. “You’ll swallow those words soon enough.”

Eleana raised a hand to pause the bickering men. “I agree with Avarron that you make quite a claim here,” she said carefully. “Perhaps you could show us some of this proof?”

Hiiiiii,” Llaweyra said, placing herself in between the three humans. Avarron immediately swatted her away with his hand.

You’ll see more than you’d like to when you continue your travels,” Xeneon said with a knowing smile.

As ridiculous as all of this already is, there is no way you can possibly explain the presence of a man that died over three centuries ago,” Avarron protested.

Easily,” Xeneon told him amused. “His name is well known among the denizens of the Witchwood. I have even met a few witnesses.”

So now you’re telling me that you can actually talk with the dead?” Avarron asked sarcastically.

Oh no. Trolls and Fae can live well beyond two centuries,” Xeneon replied, continuing to be amused.

Avarron rolled his eyes. “And that’s quite enough fairy tales for me. I’ll leave you two to it.” he got up and headed outside.

Eleana was about to go after him, but Xeneon held her back. “Give him some space. Llaweyra, could you keep an eye on him?” he said calmly.

I’ll keep him from getting himself killed!” the fairy said as she flew after the knight. Those words didn’t provide Eleana with any comfort at all.

>> Chapter 6.2

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