The War of Empires

The southern empire of Yss, ruled by the theocratic church of the sun has been at war with the northern empire of Lochna, ruled by aristocratic families as long as anyone can remember. In this world magic is rare and sought after in both armies and mages are treated as tools to be used or as demi-gods to be revered. the story centers around Lilith who is a young woman from the city of Narr in Yss who also happens to be a mage.

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2. Fugitive

 

Lilith was breathing heavily by the time she reached the front door of her home. She took a moment to catch her breath and collect her thoughts before she opened the door and went inside. As she entered the house her father came in from the workshop, apparently done for the day and asked

“Did you deliver the package Lilith?”

Lilith just nodded without saying anything and started heading for her room, trying to avoid eye contact with her father. Her father put his hand on her shoulder as she walked past him and turned her around to face him and asked with concern in his voice

“Are you alright? did something happen? You look worried”

She resisted the urge to turn her face away from his inquisitive, yet concerned eyes and answered quietly

“No father, I'm alright, just a bit tired”

She was a terrible liar and her father knew it, but yet, he released her and sighed

“Well, remember you can tell me and your mother anything” he said softly, deciding it would be better to patiently wait for her to tell him on her own terms. She wasn't going to tell him anything of course, she couldn't after all. If they knew what she was planning and the church found out, they would surely be punished for her actions. This way, they would remain safe and she would have a way to escape. She went in to her room and closed it behind her. Laying down in her bed, she started to plan out her course of action. When everyone fell asleep she would pack the things she needed and leave north towards the border. Where she went from there she would decide later. As night arrived, she packed some clothes and food and headed for the door out of her room. At the door she paused to listen if anyone was awake. She didn't hear anything so she quietly opened the door and started heading for the exit. As she got there, she heard a voice she did not want to hear,

“Where are you going?”

Lilith turned around and Ayana stood in the opening to her room looking at her frightened. She walked over to her and hugged her and said soothingly

“I have to leave now Ayana, please don’t tell mum and dad okay?”

pleadingly, Ayana replied “why?”

“This is something I have to do, you'll understand when you are older” replied Lilith

Tears appeared in Ayana's eyes as she said “I don't want you to leave”

Quietly, Lilith whispered to her “Me neither Ayana, but please, promise me you wont tell mum and dad.”

Ayana tried to wipe the tears away and nodded and said “I promise”. With that, Lilith kissed her on the forehead and stood up. As she turned away, Ayana grabbed her sleeve and held out the drawing she had made of them. Lilith took the drawing and put it in her pack and hugged her sister again and said “Thank you”. She then left and closed the door behind her. Just outside, she suppressed the tears that were about to burst. She took a second to collect her thoughts and started following the road northward out of the village.

It was still dark when Lilith stopped to rest, but it couldn't be far from dawn now. She sat down by the side of the road and ate a little of the food she had brought with her. She looked into the forest while eating, lost in thoughts about her situation and her new freedom to learn magic without the army. She would have to get to Lycan before she could truly start learning, but she was already excited by the thought of expanding on the little she knew. As she sat there, birds started chirping and one could barley see the edge of the sun rising on the horizon. Lilith stood up and looked at the sunrise peacefully.

Suddenly she heard loud barking and her mind went into panic mode. She grabbed her stuff and started running along the road away from the barking. The barking did not sound like a normal dog's bark, it sounded more sinister and had a dark re-verb to it. These were sniffers. Sniffers were hounds trained by the church from their birth to smell and hunt mages using the scent that was created from mages due to their magical capabilities. Lilith kept running, they must have started searching for her a lot earlier if they already had caught up to her. She doubted they had actually waited for the morning to come for her. The barking was getting closer, and she kept running even thou she knew she could not outrun the sniffers. A thought came to her, and she stopped and looked into the forest, dark due to the little sunlight. It didn't take her long to decide. She ran into the forest and started running through the woods. Despite the dark, the barking still came closer, and a sense of hopelessness was creeping up at Lilith. Desperately, she thought “This better work” and stopped, focusing her magic. She made a rock levitate and shoot further into the woods while still holding it with magic so that the trace would go in that direction. After she had done it, she looked for the tree with most foliage and started climbing it.

Just as she reached a branch covered by leaves, a guard wearing the symbol of the sun burst trough the bushes with a sniffer. They stopped right under her tree and the sniffer started sneering and looking around to determine where she went. The guard stood by silently and waited. Lilith prayed her trick would work, and after a while the sniffer started running in the direction the rock had gone. She knew it wouldn't take long before the sniffer realized the false scent and would turn around so she silently jumped down and started running another direction.

As she burst trough the woods to a clearing near a lake, she was breathing heavily. The clearing was a big grass field with flowers and a lake. It was beautiful, but she did not have the time to admire it at this moment. She started catching her breath but already heard the barking of the sniffer, and this time it sounded like more then one. She thought about running, but decided it wouldn't help. She couldn't outrun them. She sunk to her knees, wishing desperately for a way out and waited for them to catch her. Looking at the ground, she saw a white flower and plucked it, tears were appearing in her eyes and she was sure she was gonna die. She thought of her family and how she would never be able to say goodbye to her father or mother and tears started dripping. As she cried, she heard a strange sound, almost like the sound of sparks from a campfire, and she looked up. In front of her was a big silver circle with an interior that seemed to go inwards. She looked at it at awe as it stood there, open and as if waiting for her to step in. The sniffers were almost there, and she took a wary step towards the opening. She gulped and thought “Whatever happens cant be worse then when they catch me” and jumped into it.

She came out in a giant field of flowers, and fell onto the ground. When she looked up, the way she had come was gone, and she looked around. There were no sounds, not even the sounds of the sniffers or the guards. It was almost as if they had just vanished. The place looked like it was covered in fog and she could not see the sky, just what looked like a white roof of clouds. Amazed at the place she had ended up in she thought aloud “Where am I?”. 

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