Saturday, 27 April 2013

Chapter Ninety

Coming out the front door, Nik was furious to see a group of police officers waiting outside.  His anger peaked when he realised that one of them, a female officer, was questioning Dory.
Heading straight for the most senior looking of the trio, he launched into a furious attack, demanding to know what they were doing there and why they were harassing his wife and son. 

The police officer's response came as a complete shock to him...

"Nik Splicablee, I am arresting you on suspicion of the murder of Pete Roman and of conducting numerous criminal conspiracies under the name of "the emperor of evil".  You do not have to say anything, but anything you say may be taken down and used in evidence against you." 
"You have to be joking!  Where do you think you're going to find evidence to prove any of that?  I will ruin you for making these accusations!" 
Nik was so furious as he saw his plans crumbling around him that he failed to notice the fairy flying up behind him as he confronted the police officer.  He began to cast a spell to confuse the officer, intending to wipe all three of their minds of anything to do with his activities.
Before he could complete the spell however, a cheerful voice interrupted him.  

"Well, Nicodur of Shadows Falling, what are you doing here, casting your evil spells on these poor hapless mortals?  I see you've been up to your old tricks again, bespelling that poor woman so she can't see anything but what you want her to"

Turning around to face the interloper, Nik sneered "Well, if it isn't Robin Goodfellow, coming around poking your nose in  where it isn't wanted yet again.  So, who has sent you here?"

"Sent me here?"  The stranger's laugh was full of merriment, "No-one sends me anywhere as you should know full well Nicodur!  I go where I wish and none shall hinder me.  As for what I am doing here, as no doubt would be your next question, you and your lovely dark queen have been interfering long enough here and I do not choose to allow your schemes to come to fruition.  Now, release all these mortals from your wicked spells and begone!"
Nik's response to this ultimatum was to fly swiftly over to where Dory was standing watching the proceedings with confusion.  As he did so, he reached out to try and drag Coryn with him, but Coryn dodged back out of his reach.
Seizing hold of her, he cast a swift spell; "Fine, I'll release my spells, but just tell the little brat when you find her that I've still got her mother and now you've forced me to release those spells she knows exactly what she's allowed me to do to her precious daughter and how she's ignored her for so long!  If she wants to free her mother from my power she'll have to come find me, if not, well, as you know, blood will call to blood..."

And with those words, there was a sudden distortion in the air and Nik disappeared, taking Dory with him!
After some lengthy discussion, the police officers left to make a search of the island, although Robin warned them that this was unlikely to have much effect as Nik had doubtless travelled to one of the faerie realms to escape.

Neither Mira nor Coryn were particularly keen to trust Robin, although Mira at least recognised his name from old tales, until Taliesen came up to him and made it perfectly clear that he at least trusted him.
Having accepted Taliesen's judgement, Mira and Coryn were keen to get an explanation for everything that had happened, but Robin insisted that he only wanted to tell the tale once and asked Taliesen to bring Elenie home first.
Elenie had been quietly reading in her refuge when she sensed Taliesen calling her.  Leaving the room for the first time since running away, she found him outside waiting for her.
After being reassured that everything was safe for now and much urging, she mounted Taliesen and he took her home.
The first thing she saw as Taliesen teleported the two of them back was her grandmother standing with her brother smiling happily and waiting for her.  Sliding off Taliesen's back, she ran over and threw her arms around Mira, crying with happiness and relief. 
Once Elenie had finished hugging Mira and Coryn, and the three had cried on each other's shoulders freely, the remaining family found Robin and went into the house to listen to the promised explanation over a meal. 
"Coryn will have gathered from my confrontation with his father that the two of us have known each other for a long time.  Nicodur, or Nik as he called himself to you, is a faerie knight from the unseelie court of Morgana Le Fae."

At this point Coryn interrupted, "Unseelie court?  What does that mean?"

"We faeries mostly live in courts, individual realms within Faerie, ruled by a powerful faerie individual or couple.  Those courts fall into two opposing factions, the seelie and unseelie, in so far as it affects you mortals, the seelie courts are those who enjoy mortal creativity and happiness while the unseelie courts enjoy your pain and despair.  

"The relevance to your family, and the reason that Morgana sent Nicodur here, is that there is a very old prophecy surrounding your family.  A distant ancestor of yours was a faerie, although not a powerful one who became lost in the mortal realm.  When her absence was discovered, a seer in the court she had dwelt in made a prophecy about her descendants and since then various courts have been trying to identify your family.  Morgana wanted to hijack the prophecy and use it for her own ends.

"At this point I have a slight confession to make, I found your family some years back, but I wasn't sure if you were the ones we had been searching for.  Elenie here was an infant at the time and I cast a spell which would bring any faerie heritage she had to the fore.  Unfortunately, I was called away by events elsewhere and when I returned Nicodur had already wormed his way into your family.  Fortunately, a chance meeting with some visitors from another planet gave me the opportunity to break his hold and here we are."

Everyone was silent for a while, then Mira asked the obvious question, "So what now?  I don't feel happy staying here when that creature knows where we are, and I feel sure he hasn't given up on his plans or he wouldn't have taken Dory with him."

"If you wish, I can take you to a safe place, Ynys o Niwl, the Isle of Mists, is a place partway between the Faerie realms and the mortal realm, it is ruled over by one of the seelie courts and I know the lord and lady of that court well.  Also, I understand that Elenie has been helped by a young mage recently?  The Glyndwr family have been living in Ynys o Niwl for many centuries and I know young Ieaun's family only left in response to a vision his mother had about Elenie, so I am certain they would be glad to return there."

Challenge Notes: Although in the story, Nik has disappeared, taking Dory with him, in terms of the challenge they remain part of the household (as Elenie did while she ran away) and will move out properly once Elenie (whom you will have probably guessed is the heir) ages to young adult.

The new world I am moving them to is an adapted version of Howell Island (found here) and will have an almost entirely supernatural population, primarily made up of fairies so I would be everso grateful for any sims anyone would like to donate to me to populate it with :)

Monday, 22 April 2013

Chapter Eighty Nine

One evening, while everyone else was sleeping (except Nik who was "out"), Mira woke up to see some strange lights outside the front of the house.   Going out to investigate, she found herself caught up by a strange force and as she flew up into the sky she passed out.
When she came to, she was lying on a bed in a strange room with two green-skinned aliens looking down at her.  She must have looked scared because one of them apologised for the way they had pulled her from her home and offered her a drink and some food.

It turned out that they were studying Sim Nation in order to decide what level of interstellar presence should be allowed and Mira spent much of the night explaining her culture to them.  After some time they got on to discussing her own life and the two aliens were shocked at what Mira revealed about what Nik had been able to get away with and what else she suspected he had done but had no proof of.

Before the night was over, they deposited Mira back in front of the house and promised to make some investigations of their own.
Over in her secret refuge, Elenie had fallen into a routine.  During the mornings she would read some of the many books which had been left here by previous occupants.
Reading however was quite lonely at times and Jewel's companionship helped while away the long hours and distracted her mind from wondering what was happening at home.  Jewel always seemed to know when she needed a break or was worrying too much and would interrupt to pester Elenie into playing chase with her.
In return, Elenie was careful to take as much care of Jewel as she could, brushing her coat until it shone every day and giving her lots and lots of affection.
Ieaun had made sure that the place was well stocked with both sim and cat food and Elenie had even found a plentiful supply of cat treats which she would feed to Jewel on a regular basis.And of course, if ever Elenie was feeling down or fretting about what was happening to her family, Jewel was there to be fussed, petted and cuddled, all of which she bore with remarkable equanimity for a cat!In the afternoons, when he could arrive without being spotted, Ieaun would come around and the two of them would work on their schoolwork together.  While they worked on that, Ieaun would do his best to update Elenie on what was happening outside, not that he was able to tell her much about what worried her the most - what Nik was doing to her family in the aftermath of her escape.
When Elenie got too worried about such things after they had done their school work together, Ieaun would distract her by challenging her to pillow fights or other such silly games.
Of course, being teenagers, such games usually ended with the two of them flirting together as their relationship grew closer and closer.

Whilst Elenie worried about her family and whether Nik would find her refuge, she always seemed to find that such worries receded whilst she was with Ieaun, especially as they explored their growing relationship.
Back at home, life hadn't changed much for the rest of her family, although both Coryn and Mira felt a continuing sense of tension whenever Nik was around.  While Mira did her best to stay out of everyone's way, Coryn concentrated on his schoolwork as much as possible.
He didn't feel happy bringing any of his classmates home with him, so when he had done all his homework he would pour all his energies into painting alone in the back yard.  

Soon enough, his birthday came around and Dory organised a party for him at the festival grounds, inviting various of his classmates to join them for the celebrations.  She, Nik and Coryn got there early and Coryn spent some time sampling the snow cones while they waited for the guests.  
Nik enjoyed himself in other ways, playing tricks on random strangers who had come to enjoy the festival treats.  His favourite trick was to magic away their clothes and leave them standing there in only their underwear!

When the other kids showed up, Coryn challenged them all to a water fight (which ended up going on for most of the afternoon) while Nik and Dory played horseshoes (and kept an eye on the water fight)

As the evening drew on, Dory produced a cake and the kids all gathered round and cheered as Coryn blew out the candles and the traditional birthday sparkles overtook him.
He grew up into a very handsome teenager who longed to start a family of his own - one where he would love his children as they deserved.

Coryn's first act as a teenager was to challenge his mother and some of his guests (Nik had disappeared off somewhere shortly after it started to become dark) to a hotdog eating contest.
Whether the rest held back because it was his birthday, or whether ageing up had left Coryn with a large appetite, he beat everyone else in the speed eating stakes that night!
A few days later, Nik was at home playing chess against himself and waiting for Coryn to get home from school when his phone rang.
"You think you've found her?  Well, where is she?  And why are you phoning to tell me instead of bringing her back?" 

"What?  A hidden room beneath the library?  And you can't find the way in?  Fine, I will sort out some back up and see if I can find a way in, I will be over there as soon as I can - don't let anyone in or out!"
Hanging up on Ug-Laruka, he placed another call; 

"I have a mission for you, round up as many minions as you can and meet me at the library with them.  An associate  of mine will be waiting there for you"

As he issued a stream of instructions, the doorbell rang repeatedly

"Damn, I have to deal with whatever idiot is at the door, just collect as many as you can and get over to the library but don't do anything until I get there!"

Monday, 15 April 2013

Chapter Eighty Eight

Coryn was successful in keeping his parents occupied at the spring festival late into the evening, and it was well past his bedtime when he persuaded Nik & Dory that they couldn't leave without a photograph to remember the day.
By that time, the school ball had finished and Elenie had come out into the light of the full moon to find Taliesen waiting for her.
The ball had been wonderful, she had been crowned queen of the ball despite no-one knowing her and even better, Ieaun had kissed her and asked her to go out with him!  It had been the best night of her life.  As she mounted Taliesen, ready to leave, Ieaun gave her last minute directions on how to find the secret refuge.
As he finished, the world seemed to fall away in a flash of greenish-blue light and when the light cleared Elenie found that she and Taliesen were at the back of a large building.
She struggled to climb down from Taliesen's back, almost falling as she did so.  Looking around, she spotted the set of stairs Ieaun had told her about and turned back to Taliesen, suddenly nervous now it was time to leave him.  

"Go on, there's no time to waste, you need to be safe down there and I need to be away from here so no-one can track you.  Besides, there's a surprise waiting down there for you..."

Taking the stairs down, Elenie found herself in an odd vault, with flaming torches around the walls.  Looking around she spotted Jewel, sitting there with a complete lack of concern and washing herself as she waited.   Walking over to the far wall, Elenie pulled on the torch furthest from the stairs.
As she pulled on the torch, a section of the wall seemed to move forward slightly and she pushed against it.  It seemed to take forever, and Jewel stayed well back out of the way as she pushed, but eventually the wall swung out to reveal a long passageway.  
As she walked down the passageway, Elenie remembered Ieaun's instructions and, once Jewel had joined her, pulled on each of the torches along the passageway until the door behind her swung shut, sealing itself invisibly as it did so.  Further down the passageway was a small plaque which read "Enter and welcome those who seek refuge, use whatever you need."  

Somehow, the very act of reading those words seemed to trigger something and the wall at the end of the passageway cracked open to reveal a well furnished room behind it.

In one corner of the room was a beautiful double bed, and next to it, a wonderfully carved wardrobe.  Elenie found a nightgown in the wardrobe and, after putting it on, she and Jewel curled up to sleep and dream.

The next morning, Coryn was playing in his bath hoping all had gone well the previous evening when he heard Nik shouting downstairs.
Slipping out the house, he called to his mother, telling her he'd been asked to collect some stuff around town as a school assignment.
In the kitchen, Nik was shouting and ranting at Ug-Laruka.

"Where is the brat?  You were supposed to keep her here and miserable and she's disappeared from under your very eyes!  You worthless goblin!  One simple task and you can't even manage that!"
As he ranted and raged at her, he also flung fairy spells in punishment, causing pain and binding her to do his will.

"I'm sorry master, I was watching the other one, the old biddy, you said to watch both & keep them away from each other.  I thought I could see the girl all the while but this morning her image faded away as if she were an illusion."
At those words Nik's temper snapped still further. "Out!  Get out!  Go and hunt the little brat down and bring her back!  Don't you dare come back until you've found her or I will make what I just did to you seem like a pleasure!"
With Ug-Laruka out looking for Elenie, Nik knew that it was time to confess his failure to Morgana.  As he summoned her image in the mirror, he cringed, knowing that she would be furious and dreading what punishment she might choose to inflict upon him.  

"You've done what?!"  her image screeched, "How did you lose one measly little brat?!  All you had to do was keep her there and break her spirit so she'd come willingly with me when I chose and you've lost her?!  You'd better find her or your punishment will be told to fae children for centuries!  I will chain you in my throne room and whip every inch of skin from your flesh!  I'll break every bone in your body so you can't stand upright and don't think you'll escape me through death either, I'll keep you alive to suffer all of it and you won't be able to use your magic to heal yourself, you'll have to do it the slow way!  And that's only the start of it... Now get out there and find her or else!"
On the other side of town, hidden away in her underground refuge, Elenie awoke confused, for a few moments she couldn't think where she was or why she was in a bed, but then she remembered the previous night's events.
Looking around the room she saw a small but fully stocked kitchenette and a dining table with two chairs next to it, getting out of bed to investigate she found it fully stocked and prepared herself a plate of pancakes.
After eating, she investigated the room further and found an exquisite bathroom behind a door near the bed.  Everything in it was ornately carved and Elenie enjoyed a long bubble bath, the first she'd ever had.

Later on, Ieaun slipped into the refuge, carefully sealing the door behind him.  The two of them did their schoolwork together and then spent some time just chatting together.

After a while, the conversation took a more intimate turn and the two teens spent a while flirting and holding hands.

Soon enough though, it was time for Ieaun to leave if he wasn't going to accidentally lead anyone to her hiding place and as he began to collect his stuff, Elenie screwed up her courage and gave him a shy kiss goodbye.

Once Ieaun had left, Elenie checked that he had sealed the door properly behind him and made herself a quick salad, delighting in her ability to enjoy her food without someone shouting at her to clean or cook.
That being done, she checked out the laptop computer which she had found conveniently placed on the desk.  Investigating the settings on it, she found that it had full internet access which was even hidden behind proxies and the like to keep anyone from tracing anything back to the machine.  Feeling reassured, she used it to upload her completed schoolwork and download her next assignment.
She then proceeded to investigate the rest of the room and in particular the bookshelf.  She found some fascinating old tomes on potion making and, selecting the simplest looking one, she settled down to read while Jewel curled up in the other chair to sleep.
Out-take/Pet spam

Challenge Notes:- Whilst in story terms Elenie has run away/escaped, she is in fact still part of the active family but I am keeping her in a small purpose built tomb underneath a community lot in the town.  Curfew is turned off to keep her from being dragged home.