PART 5: THE SIDHES
Once Rhea’s daughter Princess Anna had had her premonition of their impending doom, Rhea immediately opened up a portal and urged everyone present in the Palace to evacuate to Daphne, the Underground City of the Devas Society. She insisted on remaining behind as bait while she gave the others a chance to escape from the Sidhe threatening them.
Rhea knew the precise moment her mother was in the vicinity. It was unlike any presence she had ever felt- the power coursing through her mother’s veins was powerful enough to be felt in virtually every corner of the Palace and when Rhea finally faced off against her mother, the entire room was filled with a brilliant and blinding yellow light. Rhea knew she had no chance of winning but she was prepared to die fighting if that was what it took.
And yet Rhiannon did not appear the least bit fazed by her daughter’s presence instead looking around the Palace this way and that searching for something or someone. Rhea took advantage of her mother’s momentary distraction to conjure up treacherous vines calling them from the roots of fallen trees from the ground and they restrained her mother hanging her up by her wrists and ankles. Each vine held a thousand spikes filled with incapacitating sleeping potion which Rhea knew would mean nothing to a Sidhe but she designed it that way anyway.
As predicted, Rhiannon appeared quite confused to be suddenly restrained. The room was suddenly engulfed by brilliant yellow aura that surrounded the Sidhe melting away the vines restraining her before she gently floated from off the ground, settling with the grace of a swan all while ignoring Rhea. All of Rhea’s attempts at restraining or otherwise attacking her mother were pointless but she did not give up until her mother had finally had enough and simply swatted her away like she was a common housefly, throwing her across the room to one of the stone pillars of the room with enough physical force to cause Rhea’s immediate loss of consciousness.
Rhiannon then began to descend to the ground, passing through all layers of Earth separating her from the Underground City as if she was incorporeal finally settling outside the Entrance Cave to the City of Daphne. Once there, she simply bid Prince Xerxes to come to her and before he knew it, his body moved of its own accord towards her. Terrified though he was, he could not resist the Sidhe’s command and nothing anyone did to restrain him worked.
As he walked towards certain doom, he worried about Rhea and what had become of her. He knew in his heart of hearts that she was not dead for he would have felt it the moment her spirit departed from the Earth. He thought of her and regretted not having known the real her. He thought of her beautiful face and her perfect lips; of Rhea’s quick wit and of her brave and heroic fighting spirit. He hated to disappoint her like that but there was nothing he could do. He walked towards Rhiannon the Sidhe, unable to resist whatever compulsion she had used against him.
But just as all hope seemed lost, Rhea’s spirit appeared to him and called out to his own spirit which immediately got out of his body, the empty vessel collapsing to the ground in a heap of dust.
“My Prince, I am so sorry I dragged you into this mess. There is only one way I can think to save you, the one thing even Mother cannot overcome- the Protector’s Bond. It is a bond forged by Gaia herself and therefore supersedes any other known magic in the world. I must pledge my allegiance to you before it’s too late. Will you allow this?”
“My Rhea, this is not troubling news at all. It has been my greatest desire ever since I learned the truth. Please, make haste and complete the ritual,”
Rhea nodded and then nervously, her spirit form took a knee and took the Prince’s hands in her own while looking directly into his eyes. Were his eyes always so gorgeous? They reminded Rhea of honeycombs, so warm and inviting.
“Prince Xerxes of Mariamne, I, Rhea daughter of the Sidhe Rhiannon, hereby pledge my allegiance to you. I shall walk faithfully by your side and protect you all the days of our existence. I pledge to be a mentor, a friend, a lover, a mate and anything and everything else you may require of me. With Gaia as my witness, I hereby forge our bond by giving and proudly proclaiming my allegiance to you,” she said in earnest.
“I, Prince Xerxes of Mariamne, son of Queen Areneas and King Xander, hereby accept your pledged allegiance and accept the title of your charge forevermore,” he stated. Once he had accepted the forge of their bond, it deepened, a million tiny strings drawing them closer than they had ever been before then.
Once it had done so, the heap of dust that had once been the full form of Prince Xerxes not only reshaped itself but bore very distinctive markings which were etched onto his bare chest, arms and feet. All gathered dryads that witnessed the marks all gasped in unison and bowed down in reverence.
As was written in the Religious Saga of the First Dryad People, the very first dryad male bore markings on his arms, chest and feet that could be recognized by any dryad that lived- the markings were said to Divine Runes and etched by Gaia herself and were unique to him entirely. The Prince similarly gained a unique mark on his face that was recognizable to all dryads as the Mark of Adam.
Rhea awoke from her unconscious state and immediately opened a portal to join her charge. With the Bond properly forged between them, she felt more powerful than ever and helped Prince Xerxes to his feet. The female Warriors of the City all rose up to assault the Sidhe despite knowing the odds were impossibly staked against them.
Together with Rhea, the female warriors led by Shayara herself all bravely fought the Sidhe Rhiannon even when she so easily incapacitated them. Her compulsion no longer had any effect on Xerxes who focused on helping Princess Anna and her family to get deeper and deeper into the Underground City to protect them from Rhiannon.
Rhiannon began to hiss at Rhea and the warriors smiting a large number of them out of spite whilst still calling Xerxes to answer to her summons. Soon enough Rhea was the only one on her feet and she fought harder and more bravely. Her mother soon held onto Rhea’s throat with an unbreakable grip and broke her neck easily.
“Bring him to me, accursed fruit of my womb or suffer my wrath,”
“I am not afraid of you, Mother! Even if I should die for it, you shall not have him,”
Rhiannon hissed angrily at her daughter. “If you will not heed my commands, then I shall bring this entire city down. I will destroy the entire Magical Realm if I must but I shall have Adam,”
“Over my dead body!” Rhea said attempting to fight her mother despite her extensive injuries.
“Stop hurting her!” Prince Xerxes ordered suddenly appearing before them.
“What are you doing, my lord? Please get away from here-”
“I won’t let you die at the hands of this monster, Rhea. Let her go and you can have me, foul beast,”
Rhiannon cast Rhea aside as if she was mere garbage and approached the Prince.
“No, you- you can’t go with her- she- she will destroy you- the Entity- the Entity shall win,” Rhea said trying to reach out to her charge, terrified for him. She fought on despite her wounds crawling towards the Prince in spite of them.
Rhiannon smiled as she approached him. “You are a fool for giving your life to save hers. Even if my accursed fruit dies, she will reincarnate and besides, she is not worth a single tear from your face,”
“You are mistaken, foul beast. Rhea means more to me than anything in this entire universe. For her, I gladly give my life, my soul, my very being,”
Rhiannon laughed a booming laugh that was terrifying as it was not sinister but a sweet and merry sound that drew him in rather than repulsed him.
“Ah the accursed Protector’s Bond. It has greatly blinded you. Well then, come along, we have quite the journey to make,”
“Is that right, Rhiannon daughter of Rhiene? What journey do you hope to make with Prince Xerxes?” asked a disembodied female voice echoing throughout the City.
Rhea worriedly looked at her charge. This was their utter doom and destruction. She sensed the presence of one who was even more powerful than Rhiannon- in fact, the presence she sensed was of the long forgotten Alyona, the Sidhe Empress.
“How- how can this be? My- My Empress, could it be- no- how could it be… Alyona daughter of Ayarak?” Rhiannon said fearfully.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Links to previous stories are right here;
- Treacherous Vines- these are vines that can be conjured up by anyone whose powers are deeply connected and rooted in Earth/Nature Magic (such as Witches, Nymphs and Fairies) or those with pure magic that are used in combat/attack magic. The strength and purpose of the vines are solely dependent on the caster and they come in many varieties depending on the caster’s desires. An ancient form of magic, they are very difficult to pull off and control for the purposes of the caster and are therefore not attempted by casters of lesser ability for loss of control could lead to lethal consequences.