Birth of the Aetherverse – Chapter 11 (Serial Story)


Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 11: Planting trees and travelling the realms

“Be warned,” Randi said as she handed Titania the rainbow glass ring. “Anyone who succeeds in freeing him will take his place.”

Oberon, Titania, Randi and I stood in an offshoot of the Maze Between the Worlds, a creation of Merlin’s that would allow anyone with the will to travel between Everworld, Earth, Fay, and someday Albion.

In the small dead end was an angry tree that used to be Melchior. 

“Maybe someday he’ll have learned his lesson and deserve a return to Fay life.” Titania sounded hopeful.

“What do we do now?” asked Oberon.

I wasn’t sure what he meant, but I replied by saying, “Randi has taught you the ritual to strip powers called the Mireinio. It will turn our children into regular Fay, or if they’re half human, they can choose human. We must each agree to do so by their tenth birthday.”

They all nodded except Oberon who added, “I meant about the rings?”

Randi replied this time, “We keep them secret and safe. No one needs to know.”

“We know. What if one of us gets power hungry and decides to conquer?” Oberon looked at Randi suspiciously.

It took all my self control to not burst into laughter. 

Randi’s brow furrowed but her eyes were filled with the most delightful mischief as she replied, “I swear on Fay itself that I will never try to conquer, coerce, or capture any of the four Fay rings of power of which I have no claim.” Swearing on a Fay is binding, the realm itself would ensure she kept her promise.

Titania and Oberon stood mouths agape, even Melchior the tree was quiet. I repeated the oath myself with ease; I didn’t want to be a king, god, or leader.

It took them a long time, but eventually my siblings followed suit.

“We must help clean up the mess our son created. Fay still needs leadership,” Titania said and looked at me expectantly.

“I think I’d be more interested in visiting Earth and establishing ties with Everworld.”

“Fine. Someday you’ll need to grow up and take responsibility for our world.” 

That was the last time I saw or spoke to my siblings. They went on to rule Fay for generations, setting the framework for the nine kingdoms and then they disappeared. No one can tell me where they went or what happened. One day, they got up and rode into the Deep Realms and never returned.

I took Randi’s hand and she smiled at me sadly. “I can’t travel with you this time.” When I looked confused, she said, “I have to return to the fissure in the Deep Realms and sew it closed.”

“I can go with you,” I offered.

“You are the Guardian of Imagination and one of the original Fay. Your magic wouldn’t work and would disrupt what I need to do.” I knew she was right, her magic was of pure chaos with the flavour of nature. She was the wind that changed, I was the story explaining where the wind came from. My presence would distract and undermine hers as she closed the fissure between our universe and the other.

She was gone that first time for fifty years as I travelled the Earth and met its people. Humans have such capacity for stories and imagination that I found myself falling in love. I never acted on it and I confessed the second night of her return. She laughed at me.

“Of course you love the humans. They are chaos, imagination, and stories all wrapped into flesh. The Fay reflect an aspect of your power, they are your children, but they are too much the same.”

“You don’t resent it?” I asked, surprised.

“Do you still love me beyond all others?”

I answered without hesitation, “Yes!”

“Then don’t worry. Love, but remember Mireinio.” We conceived our first children together that night on top of mount Olympus.

Over the years, I met and loved many humans. I was father, and mother, to more children than I could count. 

It was after I’d left my friend William with a great idea for a play that Randi and I decided Titania was right.

My children and descendants were many and I was tired of not giving them a place to live. Travelling between Earth and Everworld was great, but I needed a home.

My brother and sister’s disappearance had destabilised the Fay kingdoms and from that strife had risen powerful leaders whose magic was more than a regular Fay. They rose to power on their strength and ruled.

Just because they had power didn’t mean they were good rulers and I chose the cruellest lord and settled into his kingdom. I made myself a nice home and with my children. I had a wonderful household. It had been long enough since I’d been back and my siblings disappeared that we’d faded into myth. So much so that it had become a trend to name themselves after one of us. 

It wasn’t long before the Fay lord became angry at my prosperity and declared me an enemy. I made it clear that I would pay fair wages and protection to any that would join me.

The lord found himself with a dozen loyal courtiers and a few soldiers while I took over his kingdom.

The kingdom thrived, as did Fay herself. That’s when I discovered that while I was gone, plagues, pestilence, and marauding creatures from the Goblin Markets had enveloped Fay. It had become a dark and dangerous place. 

The longer I stayed, the better the Realm became, as if my presence was its fuel. That’s when I vowed never to leave Fay again, and I wish I could have kept that vow.

Read Chapter 12 (December 2022)


While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories:

Birth of the Aetherverse – Chapter 10 (Serial Story)


Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 10: Rings, Family, and a new Tree.

We’d trapped Melchior on Albion as the realm went dormant. It would fade from existence until its Enaid, or soul, died. If Albion was returned to its glory, the Sisters would be reborn over and over again for eternity. If it remained dormant when they died, the realm would fade into memory.

Unfortunately, Melchior had been absorbing magical energy and that made him powerful enough to break out of the makeshift prison. We’d only bought ourselves a few days at most.

Merlin had helped me, Randi, Oberon, and Titania transfer our power out of ourselves and into rings. This sealed it away from Melchior and stopped him from using that power.

Our rings held the power of Fay. Mine was an onyx ring with flecks of gold. Randi’s ring was a simple ring of copper and silver. Oberon’s ring was gold with diamonds and rubies. Finally Titania’s ring was made of some form of glass with a rainbow of colours inside it.

“Who should be the champion that will wield the rings and strip Melchior of his power?” Oberon asked. It was a question, but he obviously expected us to choose him.

“I think it should be Randi,” Titania offered. At the hurt expression on her husband, she added, “She knows the spell best.”

“What do you think?” Randi asked Merlin.

The old man smiled and the well worn lines around his face crinkled. He’d already seen a lifetime of joy and sadness. “I think this is a question for you to answer.”

“Why not give the rings to you?” I asked him.

The man laughed as if I’d told the greatest joke and said, “I couldn’t wield it. Only someone who is Fay, descended from Fay, or touched by Fay in some way could make use of those rings.”

I considered telling him that his sister became the Deep Realms and he had become the barrier that protects Fay from the aether, but maybe he didn’t need to know yet.

“My vote is that I do it,” Oberon said.

“I think Robin should,” added Randi.

That left me with the last vote. I was tempted to choose Titania just to be difficult, but I knew who was the best choice. I took my ring off and handed it to Randi. “You, my dear, are the best choice for this mission.” Between having created the spell that ripped away powers, she was also the least likely to be corrupted by the power of the four rings.

“I disagree and I’m not giving her my ring,” argued Oberon.

Sighing and taking my ring, Randi said, “Oberon, could you really stand there and strip everything that makes your son a Fay lord away? Do you have the strength of character and will to make him lesser?”

Oberon sputtered as if she’d slapped him and furrowed his brow. He looked frozen until he finally took off his ring and gave it to Randi. Titania also gave Randi her ring.

With the four rings on I could see the power emanating off Randi like heat from an oven. We’d either made her powerful enough to stop Melchior, or we’d created a great feast for him to devour.

We gave her our rings and Merlin gave her a necklace with a yellow gem. He said it would prevent mind control of any sort. Then we all waited.

I felt the loss of my power intently; like I’d been thinking about something and then forgotten. It was sort of freeing. 

“I feel lesser, like a human. It’s disgusting,” Oberon said. 

“Gee, thanks,” said Morgana sarcastically. 

“You’re a wizard, it’s not the same thing,” he snapped and walked away. 

Titania took it better. She simply chatted with whoever was around, desperate to distract herself.

“Do you feel any different?” Randi asked me.

I gave her a smirk and said, “Yes, but I’m sure I could still come up with some mischief if needed.” From inside my coat, I pulled out a beautiful jewelled sword.

“Is that Excalibur?” asked Randi with a chuckle.

“Yup. He doesn’t need it and I’ll give it back when he returns. How are you feeling?”

She sighed but it was with contentment. “I feel like I was listening to a song played by a duet and now I’m listening to the same song played by a full orchestra. It’s overwhelming, confusing, and utterly beautiful.” She cocked her head, fox like, and added, “He’s here.”

A second later, Melchior appeared in the middle of the group, hunched and angry. He growled, “That was unkind, uncle.” 

“I’m many things, nephew,” I spat the word out as if it disgusted me, “but kind isn’t one of them. Even if I were, you deserve no kindness from me or Fay. You insult existence itself with your childish delusions of grandeur.” I hoped I could get him nice and mad so that he wouldn’t notice Randi weaving the spell that would strip him of his essence as a Fay lord, leaving him with the power of a regular Fay.

“You dare speak to me like that?”

“What are you going to do? Tell your parents? Turn me into an ant?”

He smiled a wicked grin and said, “No. I’m going to turn you into a tree. You’ll be able to see and talk, but not influence anything around you. You’ll be so bored that you’ll beg every woodsman who comes by to cut you down.”

I stifled a laugh. “That’s inventive, I approve, but just me alone with my imagination and conversation of anyone who passes by? That sounds soothing to me.”

I felt him gather his power for an attack and I did nothing. I considered brandishing Excalibur, but it wouldn’t help. His attack would destroy me and everything on this side of Everworld. 

I saw Randi’s arms make a shooing motion and felt Melchior’s power flow back to Fay.

“No!” he screamed. “How?” What was left of his power would have been enough to destroy me in my current state and he threw everything he had at me. Merlin stepped in front of me and blocked the energy with a metal shield.

“A regular Fay is still pretty scary to us mortals,” Merlin said and then winked.

“What do we do with him now?” asked Morgana.

Trying not to seem like I was enjoying the irony too much, I said, “I think that Melchior has already given us a pretty good idea.” Turning to my nephew, I added, “It’s time you settle down and lay down some roots.” 

Read Chapter 11


While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories: