Authors: Samantha Young
Tags: #Romance, #Fantasy, #Fiction
(Chronicles of the Fade #1)
By Samantha Young
(Chronicles of the Fade #1)
Copyright © 2011 Samantha Young
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(Chronicles of the Fade #1)
Index of Terms
The Rada – The Council
The Dravilec – Healers
The Glava – Psychics
The Azyl – Seekers
The Dyzvati – Evokers
Terms of Royalty and Nobility
Kral – King
Kralovna – Queen
Prince – Prince
Princezna – Princess
Vojvoda – Duke
Vojvodkyna – Duchess
Markiz – Marquess
Markiza – Marchioness
Grof – Earl
Grofka – Countess
Vikomt – Viscount
Vikomtesa – Vicountess
Baron – Baron
When we stand over a grave
And mourn ourselves?
Mourn the past, a previous life?
Shall we weep for the passing of time?
Shall we grieve for unfulfilled dreams?
In my naivety; in my belief
In immortal youth,
I sleep walk through life.
Someone… wake me up.
Wake me up.
Slumber – Haydyn Dyzvati
A Note to Readers: Thank you for purchasing Slumber (Chronicles of the Fade #1). It should be noted that this novel is written in British English. US readers should expect differences in speling etc.
When I was a child the world smeled of summer.
The heady perfume of the dancing wildflowers would hug my senses every time the breeze rattled their song and took them with it on its journey to soothe my cheeks from the heat of the afternoon sun. The relieving scent of the damp soil when the sun had pushed the sky too far and it wept rain for days on end, before wearily turning the world back over to its golden companion. The refreshing aroma of lemons in the thick air of the house, mixing with my mother’s baking as she prepared our afternoon repast of bitter lemonade and thick warm bread, slathered with creamy butter made cold from the sheltering shade of the larder.
And my father’s pipe.
The sweet odour of tobacco tickling my nose as he held me close and whispered the stories of our Salvation and the mighty Kral who lived in the grandest palace in al the land with his beautiful daughter the Princezna... how kind and gentle they were... the reason my private world was one of innocence and endless summer.
My memories of that life never leave me. The sounds of my brother’s laughter carrying back to my young, happy ears as we ran through the fields of purple and gold, racing over the farm to the brook that ran behind our land. The gentle trickle of that stream drew us each day; my brother for the rope swing he had looped around the strongest tree, the one with the trunk that seemed to bend towards the water as if thirsty for a taste of its pure relief. For me I was drawn to its coolness on my skin, its moisture in my dry mouth, its familiar smel... like damp metal and wet grass.
Sometimes I hear my mother caling our names in my dreams.
There was no warning to summer’s end. Its end began like any other day. I lay with my brother beneath the shadow of an oak by the brook’s edge, my young voice barely heard above the babbling water as I recounted the story my father had told me over and over, to my little brother. I could hear my father’s rich voice in my head, had memorised every word, and as I recited it, I remembered to speak in the hushed, awed tones my father used to make a story sound as magical as this one realy was.
“Aeons and aeons ago, our people were the most blessed of mankind. Powerful and beautiful we could tap into Mother Nature and draw from her powers; magical beings, spiritual and wondrous to behold. But mankind grew envious of us, and wise as we were, we knew mankind, with so many wars already brewing between its people, could not withstand a war with us. The wisest of us persuaded us it was time to fade from mankind’s earth, to fade as one into a world of our own. We drew from the earth and imagined a paradise. Mankind began to melt around us as we fel deep, deep into the fade. When our people awakened it was to find themselves here, in the Phade, in a new born land; a sky, a moon, a sun, trees, plants, water, and al animals familiar to them awaiting them; awaiting them to begin the new world in peace. Fearful of our emotions betraying us as they had to mankind, it was decided that the Dyzvati, a clan of magical evokers, with the ability to lul the people and the land with peace, would reign as the royal family. The Dyzvati named our land Phaedra, splitting it into our six provinces, giving a province to the clans with the most powerful magic. Sabithia, in the south, was taken by the Dyzvati, and they built a beautiful palace in the capital city of Silvera, where the shores of the Silver Sea edge its coast with its vibrant silver surf. To the Clan Glava, the largest and most powerful of the mage with their many psychic abilities, whether it be reading the past, present or future, or shifting objects and summoning elements with their mind, was given Javinia to the east of Sabithia and also Daeronia in the northeast.” I turned my head to smile at my brother who gazed at me enraptured by the story. “And our own slice of haven, Vasterya, was given to the Clan Azyl; seekers, mage with the ability to seek whatever their hearts desired. Eventualy, the Azyl became servants of the Dyzvati, using their abilities to seek whatever the royal family wished, helping the upkeep of the peace in Phaedra. Many centuries onwards and the Azyl’s magic had evolved with their position; no longer able to seek that which they wished for themselves, only what others wanted sought.”
“That’s a little unfair.” My brother frowned and I nodded in agreement. I thought so.
“Anyway, the province of Daeronia, beyond the northern borders of Sabithia, was given to Clan Dravilec, the healers, to keep them close to the Dyzvati.” I thought on how much a fairytale this sounded now, a many milennia on from the beginning of Phaedra. “Now there are so few mage left. Papa says there are none left in Vasterya at al. And now only the Kral and Princezna Haydyn remain of the Dyzvati.”
My brother hadn’t been listening to me anymore or my woe over our people’s sad evolution. “What about Alvernia?” My brother asked instead in a hushed voice.
I shivered at the thought of Alvernia; the stories I’d heard of the rough, uncivilised northern mountain people, terrifying tales of their macabre misdeeds and unsettling lifestyle, al because the power of the Dyzvati began to wane towards the middle of their province.
“It was given to those of middling magical abilities. A few of the Glava went with them, as there were so many, and set themselves up in the southern most point, in the city of Arrana.”
“Where the Vojvoda lives?”
“Where the Vojvoda lives.”
“I wish I was a Vojvoda. Or a Markiza. Or a Vikomt!” He cried excitedly, pushing himself up into a sitting position. “I’d have horses. Lots of horses. And gold! We could play treasure hunt!”
I laughed and pushed him playfuly. “Al those titles and you didn’t choose the best.”
“What?!” He pouted.
I stood up, bracing my smal hands against my youthful hips, legs astride, chin defiant. “Why… Kral of course!”
“Yeah!” He jumped to his feet now, mimicking my stance. “I am Kral of Vasterya!”
I growled in outrage. “Servant indeed.”
I stil remember the sounds of his beautiful laughter as I chased him for his teasing.
At the grumbling of our belies, my younger brother and I reluctantly ceased playing and began walking back towards the house. I remember holding his hand as we wove our way through the fields. I remember the gust of wind that shook the gold and purple and blew my hair back from my face, sending shivers of warning down my spine. My feet moved faster then, tugging on my brother each time my heart beat a little quicker.
I remember the expression on my father’s face when we appeared out of the fields. Pale and slack, his eyes bleak as they drank me in. My mother clung to his arm, as tiny as my favourite dol, her eyes just as glassy. At the sound of a horse’s nicker I turned to see who stood outside our home. Four men. Al dressed in livery that matched those of their horses. My eyes were drawn to the emerald and silver heraldic badges with the silver dove crest in the middle. Our symbol of peace.
They were from the palace.
I do not know why, but I was scared. I remember trembling so hard I thought I must be shaking the very ground beneath my feet. Whatever reasons unknown my instincts had me puling my brother behind my back, out from the view of the men looming ominously over our parents.
One of them descended from his beast. I realised he did not wear the livery. He alone came towards me like a serpent slithering on the ground, his purple cloak hissing in the breeze. His eyes were the deepest black and probing, so fixated on me I shivered in revulsion as if he had actualy touched me.
“This is the one.”
“You’re sure?” The soldier who towered above my parents asked gruffly.
The serpent smiled at me, ready to strike his kiling blow. “She is the one.”
“No!” My father belowed as my mother whimpered at his side. “Run, Rogan! Run!”
But I was frozen in place by their panic. An ice sculpture who watched two soldiers hold my father as he struggled in their arms, and a third pul a dagger from his belt and plunge it into his heart. He twitched and stiffened in their hold, a horrifying gurgling noise making its way up through his chest to spurt a thick, bloody fluid out of his mouth and down his chin. My mother’s screams played the soundtrack to this memory before the dagger-wielding soldier stroled towards her crumpled figure, his black gloved fingers stroking comfortingly over her hair. They slid like leeches down to her throat and back up to her cheeks. And then he twisted her head between his hands with a jerk that sent an echoing crack around my world.
That’s when I felt the tug on my hand and remembered my brother. With a thousand screams stuck in my throat I whirled with him and began to run, dragging him with me into the cover of the fields, my father’s last shouts reverberating in my ears. I drowned out the sounds of my shalow, panicked breaths, the hiccupping cries of my brother as I practicaly hauled him with me, and the holering and thundering behind us that made me race harder.
When the thundering eased, I knew I had lost them in the fields. We were smal and knew the land as wel as we knew each tiny scar and line upon our palms. I headed east, picking up my brother when he tripped; shushing him when I was no longer sure we were alone. At last we reached the cave my father had punished us for hiding in only a year before. Bears, he had warned. But now I feared the soldiers from the palace more than the bears; the soldiers who wanted me, why I did not know. They had slaughtered my parents to have me. Would they murder me too? My brother? At the thought I remember burrowing him against me in the dank cave, felt his tears soak my dress.
“I’m sorry,” he had whispered.
I wanted to tel him he need not apologise for crying, for grieving, but I feared if I spoke al my screams would burst forth with terrifying consequences.
“I didn’t mean to.”
At that, I pressed him back until a shaft of light filtered over his face. He looked so lost my young heart broke over and over again. He clutched his trousers, turning away from me, and it was then the smel hit my nostrils. I began to cry. I did not want him to be ashamed of his fear. He was so little.
“It’s okay,” I whispered and made to reach for him, but his shirt slipped through my hands as he was whipped out of sight. I must have yeled - I don’t know - but I stumbled blindly after him back into a day that had suddenly turned grey. A day that had once blazed in a beautiful fire of heat and life. Now it was gone. And as my gaze found my brother, I realised even the last sparks of the embers had been snuffed out, leaving only the fire’s funeral shroud of smoke.