Chapter 3: God, Trickster, and Coward
We quickly realized, the other four and I, that we were different from the Fay. Our magic was inside and the world was linked to us. The Fay realms bent to our every whim and fantasy, while the Fay had immense magical power, but needed to pull it from the Aether. It limited them since they had to pull magic through the barrier.
We were gods among them and they loved us. For countless years, we were benevolent deities to adoring masses. I say we, but it was mostly the other four; I liked to disguise myself and live amongst the Fay. They were fascinating and overly serious. I spent most of the godly reign of my siblings pulling pranks and tricks throughout the realm.
I was a menace and I fully admit it. I’m not proud of those years, but everyone has some embarrassing moments tucked into their past. Mine just happen to be the basis for every trickster god in multiple realms.
The problem with complete power is that it corrupts, even the gods. The four became capricious and mean. They treated the Fay like bugs and slaves. I’m not completely blameless either.
The Fay grew angry and frustrated, as they should, and rose up. They discovered that worked metal hurt our magic as much as theirs and they took arms against us. The first great Fay civil war was a horrible thing where most of the Fay died. The fighting only stopped when Mav died, her heart pierced by cold iron.
That’s when the realm itself expelled all worked metal. I’m not sure what happens to the metal, but when it’s brought into Fay, it bubbles and boils and goes into the ground.
After Mav’s death, the remaining three disappeared, and we discovered that certain Fay had the strength and will to carve a kingdom out of the wild realm around them; they were the Fay Lords. And so was born the Fay Kingdoms, ruled by those who had killed their own gods.
Again, I am not proud of my actions, but I left Fay completely. First I travelled to Earth, but it was controlled by wild magic and large reptiles, so I tried Everworld. It had been created with magic similar to my own and I had assumed it would greet me kindly. Although the people were kind, the realm itself fought my every move and one morning I awoke back in Fay. Everworld had expelled me the way Fay expels metal.
I had been gone long enough that when I returned there were nine kingdoms, the greatest of all being called Mav. After a few enquiries, I discovered its king and queen were Oberon and Titania. They had reinvented themselves as Fay Lords and started a kingdom. I was shocked to hear that they also had a son, Melchior.
In our time as gods, we’d had many children with the regular Fay. Most of those children went mad with power, so we stopped. In those countless days and nights, we had never successfully mated with each other.
I had to see for myself what the child was. I’d convinced myself that he was just another Fay until I saw him. I looked at his magic; he had the same core of power as myself, but he was also capable of pulling power from the Aether.
That made him extremely dangerous and I grew fearful. With his power, he could rewrite the universe, maybe all universes. I did the only thing I knew what to do and I ran. I ran into the Deep realms until I couldn’t breath, think, or stay awake.
I woke up when someone slapped me. It was Peaseblossom and they looked different. Their magic was subdued and they looked peaceful. “Wake up, Robin,” they said, punctuating it with another slap.
“What if I don’t?” I asked petulantly.
“Then the Deep realms will eat you, maybe.”
I laughed as much at their uncertainty as their joke. “What have you done to yourself, Sibling?”
Smiling, they said, “I travelled the Deep realms and came across a fox that walked in the shadows. I followed her and found her, I thought, eating another fox. When I approached I saw that she was transforming the fox’s core magic from internal to external. I watched her do it multiple times and finally with enough practice I was able to do it to myself. I am no better now than a common Fay.”
“Are you happy?” I asked, not sure how to respond. They nodded and I asked if they could show me where the fox had been.
My sibling did not explain the beauty that was this fox. She had fur as dark as night with shocks of bright red, her eyes were intelligent, and most interestingly, her magical core was the same as ours.
“Hello, my lady. You are magnificent. I thank you for teaching my sibling your magic.” I thought it best to be polite. I didn’t expect the fox to respond and I was surprised when she rushed forward and bit my leg. She yowled at me and bit again before turning and running.
“I think you’ve insulted her,” Peaseblossom said.
“I think she wants us to follow,” I replied and ran after the beauty.
I had no idea where we were going. I knew that to wander too far into the Deep was to lose yourself in time, but all that mattered was that fox. When I finally caught up with her she gave me a look that was what I assume was the fox equivalent to, About time.
After that, we ran together until we reached the other end of the Deep realms, where reality just gave up, and it’s there that I saw the first gate. It was an arch of stone two stories high with sigils of magic all around it.
But it wasn’t the arch that chilled my blood and stopped my heart; it’s what was visible through the arch. An army dressed in some sort of silver metal lined up in rows that reached so far in the distance that together, they looked like a giant metal serpent.
“Mulciber,” I whispered in horror.
While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories:
- 2021 – Diamond Stars and the Galactic Heist (Sci-Fi, Heist, Romance)
- 2020 – Point Zero (Superhero, Sci-Fi)
- 2019 – Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station (Sci-Fi Adventure Mystery)