Birth of the Aetherverse – Chapter 8 (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 8: The Conference Room Table is Round

I was so stunned by the comment and how off-handed Merlin had said it that I had to ask, “My nephew? Melchior? Is coming to conquer Albion? Why?”

“That’s a lot of question marks,” said the woman who I knew was Morgana. She looked exactly as she had before her death.

Merlin guffawed and replied, “She’s right. What I’ve been told from one of our spies is that Melchior enjoyed the fight with Atlantis so much that he seized control of Fay and is on his way to conquer all the other realms.”

We had walked through the castle gates and into a large throne room that was dominated by a large round table with thirteen seats.

“Aren’t there too many seats?” I asked. If there were seven Guardians, me, and Randi; that left four empty seats.

Merlin smiled at me and said, “Nope. We need seven for the Guardians, one for Lady Randi, two for King Arthur of Camelot and his Queen, two for High King Jaques of Everworld and his husband, and finally, two for the King and Queen of Fay.”

With eerie timing, my brother and sister walked into the room, nodded curtly at me, and sat in chairs as if they knew where to sit. Half of being a god is making others think you know more than you do.

As the others arrived, conversation stopped. Finally, we all sat at our respective chairs and Merlin stood. Raising his hands, he said, “I welcome you to the first Council of the Realms.” He proceeded to introduce each person, starting with the royals. With no official title, I was not included in that round. 

He then introduced the Guardians. First, Merlin, Guardian of Reality, Morgana, Guardian of Time, and Iman, Guardian of Aether. Then he gestured at a man that looked familiar. He had been the man who was holding two crystals who had created Earth. Merlin called him Ciamon, Guardian of Choice. Looking at the man carefully, I noticed he had fine fur on him and long ears. His wolf-like face was punctuated by a long grey beard.

Then there was a man who was tall, pale, and thin; his dark, sunken eyes held anger and mischief that made even me uncomfortable. He was called Icaryoe, Guardian of Chaos.

We were running out of people, and Merlin introduced Kishar, Guardian of Nature. 

That left me and Randi. I wondered where the last Guardian was and whether I should leave to give them my seat.

“Finally, we have Lady Randi of Fay and Lord Robin, Guardian of Imagination.”

I wanted to argue, but the more I thought of it the more it made sense. I was different from my siblings and never knew exactly why. Who, or what, decided the Guardians? Why were we here? I had a lot of questions and unfortunately now was not the time for answers. 

“Now with the formalities out of the way,” he paused, “there is a threat that is coming to Albion. It has already destroyed Atlantis.” There was a gasp from some members of the group.

Icaryoe asked, “I thought a realm couldn’t be destroyed as long as there were some who remembered it, only put to sleep?” His voice was calm, but I saw excitement in his eyes.

“Normally, yes, but Melchior has the ability to drain magic. He used it to devour the soul of Atlantis.”

Oberon cleared his throat and said, “He commands the legions of Fay. Nothing in this or any other realm can stop him.”

“Great pep talk. You should be a life coach,” Merlin said. His voice was calm, but there was controlled rage behind his eyes. “Now. I admit this looks hopeless, but we have the finest minds in all the realms and some of the most powerful beings. There has to be something we can do.”

The old man Ciamon raised his hand and said, “What if we collapse the realm around him? The implosion should kill him.”

Titania sighed and proceeded to talk to him as if he were a child. “He can drain power from a realm or person. We’d just be feeding him.”

King Arthur stood and in a calm voice whispered, “We are not collapsing or destroying Albion. Find another way.”

“We need to strip him of his powers. Lady Randi has taught me a spell that can change a person’s magical core. We could make him a regular Fay,” I suggested.

“He’d still command the full might of Fay and be effectively immortal, but it’s as good a plan as any,” Merlin admitted. 

“And my people?” Arthur asked.

Everyone around the table avoided his eyes. It was Morgana with a gentle tone that said, “We need to relocate them. I know just the island.”

“He doesn’t just command the armies of Fay; he also commands Fay itself and wields power that you could not believe.” Oberon sounded scared. I’d never seen him scared before.

“You four, and Melchior, are the power of Fay. Without you, there’s nothing left and the realm will collapse.” Merlin explained. I wondered how he knew.

“That’s it!” Icaryoe exclaimed. “We take your power and put it into rings. One of us will wield it against him.” When everyone looked at him confused, he added, “If the five of you are the power source for Fay then the power that Melchior is using is partially yours. If we can syphon it out of you into rings, we can prevent him from using your share and boost one person enough to stop him and the legions.”

“That’s a lot of power for one person to wield,” said Iman with a whistle. “They’d be almost a god.”

“Would it be enough?” asked Titania.

Merlin nodded and said, “Sounds like we have a plan. Let’s get something to eat and then we can start the evacuation and forging.”

A wise enemy waits until their foe is weakest, a strong enemy attacks when they’re ready, a reckless enemy attacks as soon as they can.

Melchior wasn’t wise, but he was strong and reckless. He attacked before we could start our plan.

Read Chapter 9


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

Birth of the Aetherverse – Chapter 7 (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 7: Meeting the Guardians

With the gem and the little gates taken care of, I thought we were safe from their influence. I was wrong.

Before we left Earth, Randi and I asked Noa to marry us. We’d been together for centuries of Earth time and couldn’t bear the idea of separating.

We left, wanting to avoid seeing my siblings, we decided to see what Albion was all about. We arrived and were amazed by the rolling green hills, crystal lakes, and absolutely sublime nature. It was a realm of green and growing things.

“Hello, can I help you?” asked a man that looked strikingly like a younger Merlin. Instead of looking ancient, he looked like he was in his sixties. His hair was streaked in white and his skin was a healthy brown instead of grey.

“Merlin? How are you here?” I asked.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t often meet people in the proper temporal order. Nice to see you again, Lord Robin. I’m better known here as Emris. I’m the Guardian of Reality.”

I stared, blinking awkwardly until Randi elbowed me and said, “I’m Lady Randi of Fay and this is my husband, Lord Robin.”

“Oh.” He bowed. It felt strange for the wizard to bow to me. I’d been a god, a first born, and a lord, but Merlin was the stuff of legend.

I tried to find some words, but was distracted by a woman walking quickly towards us. She was young, maybe fourteen, and still had a slight roundness to her face. Her skin was golden and her hair was pure black. Her eyes glowed with anger and seemed to shift from dark brown to red when she saw me.

“What the hell is that gate doing in my Aether?” the woman demanded.

“I thought the Aether would dispose of it,” I replied, caught off guard.

“It won’t. That thing is made of pure order. It’s not from our universe and it’s slowly creating a pocket reality around itself. Get it out!”

“Lord Robin and Lady Randi, this is Iman. She is the Guardian of Aether.” Merlin introduced us, suppressing a smile.

“Why would the force of magic and chaos need a guardian?” I asked, confused.

Putting her hand on her hip and scowling Iman replied, “For exactly this sort of situation.”

“She has you there,” Randi said with a chuckle.

Iman added, “Also for your information, Aether and Chaos are not the same thing and have two separate Guardians.”

I opened my mouth to protest, but then shrugged. “Any suggestions as to where to put it to avoid it opening and releasing a massive army to destroy all the realms?”

“I don’t care, just get it out of my Aether.” Iman looked somehow even more annoyed.

Merlin nodded and with a wide smile said, “I have the perfect place. Embed it under rock in the Canadian Shield. Wait, you won’t have any idea about that for a while. I’ll show you.” He opened a portal that sounded odd, like some great beast wheezing, and Merlin and I stepped through. 

The land we arrived at was harsher than Avalon, but no less verdant or beautiful. The trees were large and there was a slight chill in the air. I felt under me and could tell there was a natural cavern completely cut off from the surface about two kilometres down. The gate would be safe there. I pulled it from the Aether and put it in place. Without the Aether, the nascent realm collapsed into itself.

“Why here?” I asked Merlin.

“It’s pure rock and pretty isolated. Those that live here respect nature and have no need to delve that deep. It’ll stay hidden for more than a thousand years.”

“That’s oddly specific,” I said, not really surprised. Merlin only nodded and I started to ask the question that had been bothering me. “I thought Guardians were beings of great power…”

“And you want to know how a human became the guardian of Aether?”

“It seemed like a rude question.”

Merlin shrugged a little as if he didn’t believe in rude questions and replied, “What better being than a human? They are chaos and they wield Aether without ever knowing it. Humans are by far the most diverse and terrifying creatures in the realms.”

“But without powers…” I trailed off, understanding dawning on me. “All humans can affect the Aether?” He nodded. “And she has complete mastery of it?”

“Not quite, but close. She’s young, but can already wield pure Aether, something I’ve never seen anyone but the Guardian of Aether do. Also, unlike all other life in the universe, the Aether likes her.”

The idea that the stuff of chaos and magic could have personal preferences for certain people or any form of sentience was enough to scare me.

“How many Guardians are in Avalon?” I asked as we walked through the return portal.

Merlin had a look of mischief in his eyes that I tried my best to memorize. It was both charming and ominous at the same time. “All seven are here for the first time since the creation of the universe. That one was an accident. This will be the final meeting of the original seven Guardians. Would you like to join us?”

His words made sense, but left me feeling like I was missing information or context.

Randi and Iman were chatting as we arrived and I took my wife’s hand as we walked towards a modest castle.

Outside the castle gates were thousands of tents, an entire city of them. Walking between them were men and women in robes or armour. It was an army.

“Why is there an army at the gates of your castle?”

“Don’t worry. Camelot isn’t under siege. We’re preparing for war. Your nephew has a taste for conquest and he’s coming for Albion.”

Read Chapter 8


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


Birth of the Aetherverse – Chapter 6 (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 6: The Fall of Atlantis and a New Friend

If you’ve never seen the armies of Fay marching, you’re lucky. I was on their side and it was terrifying. We march in perfect unison with one bagpipe, drum, or trumpet per soldier. The sound is hauntingly beautiful, emphasis on hauntingly.

When the Fay marched on Atlantis, we were a united realm of several billion. Our army outnumbered the Atlanteans who were left a hundred to one. 

Even one platoon of Fay soldiers is as deadly as any human army before the twentieth century. The only advantage the Atlanteans had was the ability to wield worked metal and that didn’t help them. They’d grown dependent on their magic, which was impressive, but nothing compared to that of my brother and sister.

Those that were attacking us fled and I was able to catch my breath. It wasn’t long before I saw a group of soldiers marching toward us and realized we were still dressed in Atlantean garb. A wave of my hand and both Randi and I were in Fay clothing that befit a lord and lady of Fay.

The Fay soldiers hesitated and then turned towards a group of Atlantean mages attempting to activate the smaller gates. They succeeded and disappeared, but the soldiers followed them.

“You were talking about leaving?” I said. I was still holding the magical gem that had powered the large gate. I could feel its will. It wanted nothing more than to reconnect with its gate. The power it held was equivalent to me and my siblings. I wondered why it hadn’t become a person like we had. Since that time, I have learned that there were a total of four gems that weren’t transformed into people, each powerful enough to create a realm.

The one I held and the Gem of Chaos had created Earth and its universe. The Aetheria Crystal started creating Everworld, and the last was the Stone of Albion. 

“Yes. I think we should leave before this realm goes to sleep.” It’s not possible to completely destroy a realm as long as someone remembers them. The realm goes to sleep until it’s forgotten or reclaimed.

I took her hand and tried to send us to Earth. The gem had other plans. It diverted my spell into the Aether and next to the gate. I tried again and we were back on the plains of Atlantis.

“The gem isn’t going to let me move us. I’m not sure what to do,” I said and looked at Randi pleadingly. She didn’t get a chance to answer before a scream of agony overpowered the fighting and war instruments.

Melchior was standing on a pile of Atlanteans and held another’s head in his hands. I watched as the magic flowed out of the screamer and Melchior tossed them into the pile. He was draining their magic and souls.

A shiver of fear ran through me. There was something wrong with that man and it terrified me.

“The gates,” Randi suggested. “Toss one to earth and then use another to create a bridge.”

It was a great idea and I went one step further, tossing all the smaller gates to Earth, spreading them across that world. I left one gate in Atlantis as I saw a great wave of water heading toward us. The Atlanteans had decided to drown their world rather than let the Fay destroy it.

I activated the last gate and we jumped through. The contrast was jarring. We’d left a war-torn realm filled with sound and pain, and we’d arrived on an island where the loudest thing was birdsong and the ocean gently lapping at the shore.

“Are you gods?” asked a large, muscled man who was shirtless and adorned with impressive tattoos. 

“We are lords of Fay. My name is Robin, this is Randi.”

The man bowed and replied, “I am Noa, Chief of this island.”

Telepathically, Randi said, We need to destroy that gem.

We can’t, I replied. It’s too powerful. We need to break it into pieces and scatter those across the realms.

I took the crystal and started ripping pieces apart. It took less energy the smaller the crystal became. “I’ve sent all the pieces to different parts of the Earth and Albion. Everworld is already too unstable.”

“Why don’t you throw a piece into the stars?” Noa suggested. 

In Fay, the land is the universe; there’s a sun, but no solar system in the same sense as Earth. I’d forgotten that there was a vast universe. I threw a large piece of the gem as far as I possibly could. There was no way humans would get to it.

The last sliver I handed to Noa. “Keep this safe,” I told him. Sometimes you just need to follow your instincts about a person, and something was telling me that Noa was a good man.

“I will do my best, but I’m only a humble chief.” There was a sparkle in his eyes as he spoke.

A doorway opened and two Atlantean wizards stepped through. They looked angry. When they saw me, they screamed, “You stole our gates and gem!”

“Is this true?” Noa asked.

“Well, there was a war and the gem was too powerful to keep in one place. So yes, but they were about to be wiped out of existence anyway.”

“If we’d unleashed the Lost Realms and the Mulciber, your Fay armies would have been destroyed,” the wizard replied.

“I might not know of all these otherworldly things, but I’ve never heard of unleashing anything turning out well. Things are on leashes for a reason.” Noa shrugged.

“We weren’t talking to you, human! This is between Atlanteans and Fay. You should stay out of it or you’ll regret it.” The wizard smirked and turned back to me.

I was going to say something very witty, once I thought of it, but Noa interjected softly, “There’s just one problem with that.”

“What?” demanded the other wizard.

“You’re on my people’s island.”

The wizard’s laughter was cut off when the ocean itself rose up like a big hand and swatted them off the island.

Noa chuckled and asked, “So how does this thing work?” pointing at the gate. I explained to him that his crystal couldn’t open it to any other gate unless it was close, but that I could if he wanted. “Wonderful. Please open it to the coldest place it’ll go.”

I did so and Noa stepped into the shade of a palm tree, disappearing.

He reappeared under the same tree, holding the two wizards as if he’d travelled by shadow and water. “These two need to cool off.” They looked tiny next to him, being neither muscled or anywhere near his height. He tossed them through the gate and I closed it.

“That was fun,” he said with a big grin. “Now you two have done what you’ve set out to do. You seem like you attract or create trouble. Please leave.”

I shook my head in disbelief and replied, “Absolutely. Your assistance was appreciated.”

That was the first time I met an Aetherborn, a person created by the chaos of magic and human imagination. 

“I like him,” said Randi.

“Me too,” I replied.

Read Chapter 7


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