The shadows consumed her. They consumed the entire land. Corpses littered the ground by her feet, killed in ways that she didn’t think were possible. But beyond the shadows, beyond the screams and cries of pain and despair, was the fire. It flickered, dim at one moment, ablaze the next. But the fire didn’t look like what you would normally see in a hearth.
No, the fire took the shape of a human. A female, just like her. The female flame was turned away from her, just like every other time she’s had this dream. But this time, the flame turned towards her. She gasped when she saw the flame’s eyes.
They were a vibrant, beautiful blue with a gold hue around the irises. Just like hers.
And this time, the flame spoke. It spoke only two words, but little did she know that those two words would change her life. “Aelin lives.”
~Small time skip brought to you by Rowaelin~
Coralia sat up in her bed, her face drenched with sweat. She’s had the same dream for months now, but this time was different. She was sure of it. This time, the flame spoke to her. 'Aelin lives.'
Who was Aelin? The name did sound familiar. And the place that she was in… it oddly reminded her of a town she studied on the royal maps. Rifthold. But why Rifthold of all places?
Coralia sighed as she got out of her silk bed sheets to get ready for the day. If there was one person who could tell her about who this Aelin person was, it’d be Magnar, the best warrior in all of Zariya. Coralia’s kingdom.
She put on a simple dark purple velvet gown that complemented her waist-length long pitch-black raven hair and raced out of her bedroom and straight to the royal stables, where she knew Magnar would be.
Magnar Whitethorn was the Captain of Zariya’s Royal Guard, and Coralia’s only trusted Advisor. She might have even considered him a friend if she didn’t have so many of her royal duties weighing her down. Coralia knew that Magnar adored the many Asterion mares and stallions that were kept inside the palace stables, and she found him tending to his battle horse, Tempest.
Magnar had unique silver-white hair with warm brown eyes. He was tall and broad-shouldered, and he had almost every female in Zariya swooning over him.
“Magnar!” Coralia called out to him. The young Fae warrior turned around and gave her a warm smile.
“Hey, Cora! Didn’t expect to see you down here this early.” Coralia smiled at his nickname for her. He was the only one in her entire kingdom who didn’t call her ‘Queen’, ‘Your Majesty’, or ‘My Lady’. She appreciated how he treated her like an equal.
“I was wondering if I could ask you a question,” she said. Magnar nodded, still working on grooming Tempest.
“Of course, go right ahead.”
“Do you know who a person named Aelin is?”
Magnar froze and stared at her, his eyes wide with shock and… worry? “Where did you hear that name?” He demanded. “In- in a dream I had,” she stammered slightly, surprised at the sudden edge that came to his voice. “What did she look like?”
How did he know that Aelin was a she? Coralia silently wondered. “I couldn’t see her… she was this ball of flame, and the only thing that I could distinguish from her was that she had my eyes.”
Magnar closed his eyes as if he was arguing with himself. After a few moments, he opened them again and looked at Coralia. He walked over to her, ignoring the whines of protest coming from his stallion.
“We need to see the Elders immediately,” was all he said before he grabbed her hand and carried her up the spiraling stone stairs of the palace to the upper East Wing.
The Elders were the wisest people in all of Zariya, perhaps even the world. Rumor has it that they were granted their knowledge and wisdom from the gods themselves. There were only 5 Elders: Cyfrin Dax, Asher Crius, Zayn Thais, Asteria Cleiss, and Ceridwen Grace.
“Why do we need to see the Elders?” Coralia asked. “It was just a dream…” Magnar shook his head. “What you saw wasn’t just a dream. It was a sign.”
The two of them reached the door of the room where the Elders held their court. Magnar opened it and gestured for Coralia to walk in first. The black-haired queen nodded her thanks to him and walked inside.
Despite looking small on the outside, the Elders courtroom was very cavernous, the ceiling intricately painted to look like galaxies. In the middle of the room were 5 chairs that looked like miniature thrones.
When most people think of the word ‘elders’, they think of old people with wrinkled skin, but the Elders of Zariya were all of magical descent. None of them looked like they were older than 40. Magnar looked over at Elder Zayn Thais.
“Hello, Your Honor, looking for a rematch at chess?” The fae warrior smirked at the Elder, who rolled his eyes in return. “Please, Whitethorn. We both know that I won that game. But that wasn’t what you came to see us for was it?” Thais asked.
Coralia stepped forward. “Your Honors, Magnar dragged me here because I’ve been having a recurring dream that’s important-”
“It was recurring?!” Magnar yelped in surprise. Elder Cyfrin Dax raised an eyebrow, interested. “What was this dream about?”
Coralia explained the shadows and the flame that spoke to her. Once she finished, the 5 Elders fell into a stunned silence.
“And you are sure that the flame said its name was Aelin?” Elder Asteria Cleiss questioned. Coralia nodded. Dax and Thais shared a glance. The queen wasn’t liking how everyone knew who Aelin was and she didn’t.
“Who is Aelin?” Coralia demanded. “As the queen of Zariya, you must tell me!” Magnar looked at her in shock. She never acted like this, not even to annoying ambassadors of other kingdoms.
The Head Elder, Ceridwen Grace, stared at her for a long moment before sighing. “Queen Coralia, you do remember your last name, correct?”
Why is she asking me such a stupid and simple question? Coralia thought irritably. “Yes, I’m Coralia Galathynius. What does that have to do with anything?”
“Your last name has everything to do with this,” Elder Grace said slowly. “Because the Aelin you’re describing is Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. You’re older sister.”
Hello guys! Artemis here again! I hope you liked this chapter! If you haven't already, then check out chapter 1 on my friend @chopsui's page. She'll be posting Chapter 3 soon! I'll see y'all in my next post! Bye, everyone!!! - Artemis