Meeting of the Elders
They entered a large cavern-like place. Candles and flame lit it up, giving life to the shadows as they danced across the wall. Five elves sat in a balcony above the ground. The one in the center stood up. “Melody! Why’d you bring these outsiders into our holy chamber?”
“You wanted the Champions…” Melody fought back. “Here they are.”
The Elders looked at the group. “How can we be sure?” A younger elf on the far left asked the others. He looked to be about the youngest of all of them.
“Solis, you could just say I’m right since you know I can’t lie.” Melody told the youngest elf. He shrugged; it wasn’t his decision.
“Where have you outsiders been?” The Head Elder asked the group as he sat down.
“First we went to a charred house and met a spirit named Kaori Shiinto.”
“Then we went to Heaven and met a half angel, half demon named Lucracious.” Caz told the council.
“Then we went to the Unseelie court and I was forced to marry a prince by the name of CJ.” Sori continued.
“Then we were sent to Hell, met a demon named Kiante, and passed all of Lucifer’s tests.” Jisika followed.
“Then we were sent here and we landed on Melody who took us to you.” Cyn finished.
“Elements?” A female elf to the right of the Head Elder asked them.
“Water.” Jisika was the first to answer.
“Earth.” Caz answered next.
“Air.” Sori replied after him.
“Fire.” Cyn finished.
“See, Lady Taron?” Melody asked of the female elf. “They are the Champions. They’ve gone to the highest plane of Heaven and then to the depths of Hell. Still they are sent on.” She was helping them out. She thought that Cyn was a little cute.
“State your names and titles.” The elf between Solis and the Head Elder commanded.
“Dude. We’ve just been through Hell and we’re tired and hungry. We can’t be answering your questions all day, unless you want us to pass out.” Sori grumbled, hoping the elves wouldn’t hear.
That didn’t turn out well. “You dare talk back to the Elders?” The whole council, but Solis stood up. They had never been disrespected.
<Sori! You got into this mess, how are you going to get out of it?> Cyn asked.
<The only way I can. With words and maybe a few punches, if forced.> She answered. “I dare talk back. We haven’t slept in a week and we haven’t eaten in two days. We don’t mind coming back and answering you guys, if you would let us rest a little bit.” She held defiance in her voice.
“Who do you think you are?! Demanding things of us?!” The elf on the far right asked. His face was almost cherry red from anger.
“The Last Faery Princess of the Seelie court, Solaria. And I’m demanding this because my friends will not be forced into anything, if they can’t fight off exhaustion.” She explained as calmly as she could. The Head Elder sat down to hear her case.
“What do you mean you’ve been awake for a week and haven’t eaten in a couple of days?” Solis asked her. He could see the truth in her eyes.
“We haven’t slept since before Hell. And we haven’t eaten since the fourth level of Hell. All we ask is a day to sleep and recuperate. Then we’ll answer anything you want and whatever else you need us to do before fighting Stiller Naught.” She kept eye contact with the Head Elder.
Taron looked at this faery fighting to sleep. “I say give them the day to rest up. We aren’t in any hurry, are we, Erebus?”
The Head Elder, Erebus, shook his head. “Let them go and sleep and rest. Be back here the same time tomorrow.” He stood up. “Meeting adjourned until tomorrow.” He walked away, leaving the council room.
Taron stood up, “We shall see all of you tomorrow.” She nodded to Sori then followed Erebus out.
The one who asked for their names and titles stood up, nodded to the group and left. There was only Solis and the angry elf left. The angry elf left after the rest of the council. Solis hopped over the balcony banister and went to talk to Melody. “I’ve never seen Lord Vague so pissed. I mean he was seething.”
“It’s because there’s never been someone who talked back against the Elders.” Melody was a little excited. This was a different experience that she never even heard of happening before.
“Can we just sleep here?” Sori yawned as she slumped against a wall.
“I don’t know.” Melody answered.
“I don’t think the Elders will mind. And it’s the safest place they can be.” Solis grinned. “Sure, you can sleep here.” He didn’t have to say anything. Sori was asleep against the wall, Cyn as by her. Jisika and Cazron fell asleep back-to-back, holding each other up.
“Guess they were really tired.” Melody laughed.
“I think they need some things.” Solis told her. “Pillows, blankets and food. Come on, I’ll help ya.” He and Melody had been friends since they were little kids. They left the group to sleep and regain their energy.
Cyn was the only one to wake up when Melody threw a blanket on top of him and put a pillow under his head. The others were still out. “Melody?” He sat up.
“Hey, Cyn. Need anything?” She stood by him.
“Just some answers. Can you stay awhile?” He hoped she could so he could get some answers.
“Sure.” She sat down next to him. “What do you need to know?”
“Who am I?”
“No, I mean, in this society, who am I? People all along our journey have called me an elven prince.”
“That’s because you are. You and I were supposed to be married.”
“What do you mean supposed to be married?”
“I fell in love with CJ and the wedding was cancelled. You were here with us when you were younger.”
“How is it that everybody knows about us and been waiting for us?”
“There was a prophecy. I’ll tell you about it.” She took a deep breath. “Think of the universe as a giant set of shelves. It’ll help you out in keeping track of everything.”
She took another breath, “Way back when, before any of us were born, when the world was young, there was a meeting between all the races of the world. Humans, elves, faeries, angels, demons and vampires. During the meeting, they were discussing the different planes of existence and who gets what. Demons, because of their nature, they were given Hell, the lowest plane. Vampires, a danger to all the races, were given the plane just above Hell and it was called Blood’s Keep. It was decided that humans, because they are short lived, get the material plane, that you know as Earth, right above the vampires. Elves, being keepers of the wilderness, were given the realms in the plane above Earth and it was called Aria. Faeries wanted to keep things to themselves, so they set up their courts on a plane above Aria and it was called Tir na nOg. Then the Angels, who were keepers of light, were given their place at the top of the other races, in Heaven.”
She continued. “There was one more plane above Heaven. It is the Exeo Plane. That’s where beings called Planars are. They make sure the balances between all of the planes are equal. Well, something happened to the Planars. They all disappeared.” She sighed.
Cyn asked, “What happened to them?”
“Nobody knows.” She felt a little sad. “The races had just split up the planes in the universe when a Planar came into the meeting. She was bleeding profusely and fell to the ground. The Vampire King, Stiller Naught was the first to help her up. It was his lover, named Bella. But nobody but him and Bella knew about the love affair. The other races sent him away, thinking that he was going to kill her. After they sent him away, his voice echoed, ‘Bella, I will find you! And I curse all of the races to be doomed until I reach her!’ He was sent to Blood’s Keep. Bella had come to bring a prophecy for the races.” She had a hard time remembering the exact words. “She said, ‘Hear these words and remember them for eternity. Many millennia from today, there will be a rebirth. A vampire shall breach the level, get through the Gate and enter Exeo. There will be four Champions of the elements to fight against him. They will be from all the races, but they will fall, without help. If the Champions are defeated, the vampire can rule all the planes as a Planar. But, if the Champions win, the planes will be kept in balance.’” She looked at him. “Bella died after giving the prophecy, and Stiller Naught swore on his race that he would reach Exeo to bring her back. So the people in the meeting sent out one soul from their race, to be their champion.”
“That’s us.” Cyn sighed. He looked over at his sister. “What’ll happen to us once we win?”
“Nobody knows. It was never mentioned. And when Bella died, the secret went with her.” Solis told him. He had just walked into the chamber with food in his arms. “Let’s wake your friends up and I’ll have to explain some things.”
Cyn nodded and poked Sori in the arm. She instantly woke up. “Wha?” She reached for her bow.
“It’s alright, brat. It’s just me. How do you wake Jisika up without her trying to kill you?” He asked.
She yawned and mumbled. “You don’t. Give me a rock. And have everyone stand back.” Melody handed her one. Sori took a quick aim and threw it at Jisika. It landed on her thigh.
Jisika jolted up and looked around. “What’s going on!?” He hand reached for the blade on her scythe.
“Jisika, it’s just us.” Cyn called to her.
“Great…” She moved away from Cazron, making him fall on the ground. Still Caz slept. “How do I wake this thing up?”
“Plug his nose and hold his mouth shut.” Cyn told her.
Jisika grinned and put her thumb and forefinger around his nose. She squeezed and used her other hand to keep his mouth shut. Caz tried to get away to breath, but she held on. His eyes opened and she let go. “You alive?”
“Never. Not after you try and kill me.” He coughed, trying to get air. “What’s going on?”
“Food and I’m going to tell you who’s who on the Elder’s Council.” Solis told them. They all went towards the food and attacked. After about a minute, all the food was claimed and they started to eat. There was mainly fruits and vegetables, and no meat.
“Why no meat?” Jisika asked.
“Because elves don’t believe in killing an innocent creature for the meat of it. All animals deserve to live.” Melody told them, shocked at the thought that anyone could eat meat. She got up. “I need to go. Good luck, guys.” She left.
Solis got their attention. “Okay, I’m going to explain who is who. One the far left is me, it’s ok if you talk to me like we’re friends, because I’m an apprentice to become an Elder. Next to me is Lord Erc. He is the elf in charge of financial matters and all the stuff like it. He makes sure that no one is forced to pay something they can’t afford, but he also makes sure those who can’t afford don’t buy anything that’s out of their money range. Then you have the Head Elder, Lord Erebus. Anything that’s going to be done, it has to go through him. He’s the equivalent of a president. Then you have Lady Taron. She’s pretty nice and is in charge of welfare. If she sees someone without a home, it’s her job to find them one. She makes sure that everyone is safe, healthy, and secure. Then you have Lord Geck. He is in charge of the emergency workers. These are firefighters, medical, doctors and so on. He keeps everyone from getting hurt.”
“Then we got the pain in the arse.” Sori mumbled.
“That would be Lord Vague to you, young lady.” Another voice drifted through the chamber. Sori turned and it was Lord Vague standing at the doorway.
“And what’s your job? Being a-” She started but Cyn covered her mouth.
“I am in charge of military and defense. If I see anyone doing anything illegal, they must come before me to state their case. I also make war plans against anyone who might try and kill us.” He stalked forward. He was surprising young looking with long black hair down to his lower back and cold eyes to match. He was tall and slender, giving him a ghostly feel. He went right up to Sori, and looked into her eyes. “Let her talk, I want to hear her speak.” Cyn withdrew his hand. “You may think you can try and demand things of us, little faery, but,” Vague stopped for a second. “You’ll find out that not all elves are tolerable of your trickster nature.”
Sori glared back at him. “You have a lot to learn about other races.”
“What don’t I already know?” He sounded cocky.
“That angels aren’t always the purest. Faeries aren’t always the tricksters. Demons are not always evil. And Elves aren’t always right.” She snapped at the last sentence.
“Well, we’ll just have to see about that, little faery. I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of each other as time goes on.” He went into a darkened area and appeared in the balcony.
She was about to give a remark, when Lord Erebus came in and took his seat, followed by the rest of the council. Solis gave a nod to them then went up to his seat.
Erebus said in a booming voice. “Elder Council meeting is now in session.” He looked at the group. They had fully eaten their meal and stood tall to answer any questions.
Lord Geck asked them the question he had posed the day before.
“Daughter of Lucifer, Champion of Water, Jisika.” Jisika started them off.
“Son of God, Champion of Earth, Cazron.” Caz went next.
“Last Seelie Princess, Champion of Air, Sori.” Sori replied.
“Lost Elven Prince, Champion of Fire, Cyn.” Cyn finished.
The council looked at this mismatched group. Lord Erc asked, “Can any of you say the prophecy laid down by the Planar, Bella?”
The group looked at each other. Sori shook her head, Jisika shrugged and Cazron’s shoulders stooped. None of them knew it. Cyn stepped forward, “A vampire shall reach the Exeo Plane and try to take it over. Champions will try to stop him. If Stiller wins, vampires control the planes. If we win, the balance stays intact.” He stated the main idea of it.
“That will do.” Erebus bowed his head slightly. “Does the council have anything else to ask them?”
Vague grinned, “I do, Lord Erebus.”
“Then you may ask.” Erebus gave Vague permission.
Solis hit his head, This won’t end well.
Vague looked directly at Sori, hoping to piss her off. “How can we tell that they are truly the Champions if we haven’t seen a true test? They could be just everyday normal beings that are posing as them. How do we know they aren’t vampires in disguise?”
That annoyed Sori a little. “Because we aren’t. And we are the Champions, or else I would rather just go back to my normal life and forget this whole ordeal.”
“Then how about a test, little faery?” Vague’s grinned turned devious.
<Cyn there has got to be something about your race that always wants proof.> Jisika sent across the link.
<I guess so. I think we need to be on careful footing around Vague. He looks like he would gladly kill Sori if he got the chance.> Cyn sent back. <Sori, don’t do what you would normally do. Don’t do anything stupid.>
<You have to remember who you’re talking to, Cyn-Cyn.> Sori grinned. “Depends on the test What do you have in mind?”
Erebus looked over at his fellow councilman. He felt something flicker around his throat. He tried to grab at whatever it was. He started coughing and the other councilmen tried to help him.
Vague just sat there. “Save his life, then I’ll believe that you are the Champions.”
Sori flew up to the balcony and looked at Erebus. She put her hands above his throat. “Give him air.” She whispered and a small wind picked up. Air swished into the Head Elder’s lungs, filling them up, but it didn’t help.
“Guys! We all need to do it.” She told them. Jisika and Caz grabbed Cyn and lifted him to where Erebus was. The other council members stepped away from them as they made a circle. They all put their palms above Erebus and concentrated on him healing.
Vague didn’t want this to happen. He was supposed to be next in line to be Head Elder. He tightened his hold on Erebus.
“It’s not working.” Sori felt a sudden surge of power. “Keep working on it. I’ll get rid of the source.” The others didn’t try to stop her as she flew at Vague, hitting him hard.
Vague, who wasn’t ready for the blow, hit the wall behind him. The spell he had, broker and the hold on Erebus released. The others quickly healed him and stood up. Taron looked at them. “You saved his life. You are the Champions.”
Vague stood up. “You all passed the test, congratulations.” He brushed himself off and stalked out of the chamber.
“Don’t worry. He’s a hot head. But I do want to tell you. He will be training you in weapons use. Please don’t disrespect him.” Solis told them, looking especially at Sori. “I’ll lead you guys to the training area.”
Erebus stood up, “You will not!” His face was smiling. “I have to give them immunity.” He closed his eyes and looked up. He raised his arms and a medallion for each of the Champions appeared in front of them. “Take these and you will be protected from our laws. You will not be harmed by my people if you have these.” The group grabbed their medallions. “Meeting adjourned.”
Solis grinned. “C’mon. Follow me. I need to take you to the weapons area.”
“Will there be bridges we have to use?” Caz shuddered.
“Nah.” Solis grinned and snapped his fingers. They were headed towards the weapons training.