Elyri. ágdháni. Miracle worker. Saint. Outcast. All that Kavan ever wanted was to be was a normal man, the bard he has trained his entire life to be. But prophecy has a bad habit of thwarting the best plans and intentions. From the moment he meets Arlan, the infant prince of Enesfel, the path Kavan imagined for himself is overthrown by forces beyond his control. When Owain Lachlan, a man of dubious heritage, assumes the mantle of king, it falls upon Kavan’s shoulders to guide and aid the inexperienced Prince Arlan in claiming the throne that is his birthright. Kavan’s personal quest for acceptance, from others and from himself, becomes entwined with threads of politics and Faith, and not even prophecy can guarantee what fate awaits him in the end.
The boy looked up abruptly, staring into the dwindling fire on the hearth but not truly seeing it. What he did see, what he sensed, were things he did not quite comprehend. Sorrow. Chaos. Hope. As surely as he knew his own name, he was certain that Enesfel’s great King was dead and that somewhere another had been born. Twins had been born, but he knew not where, or how he knew this to be true. A word came to mind, or a name perhaps, Arlan, but it belonged to no one he knew and held no meaning for him. It was only a word, a word connected to the images and impressions he had been shown, but he had no idea what any of it meant. Bewildered, he rose to his feet and went to the window. Little could be seen through the swirling snow so he watched the flakes fall instead. It was the distraction of darkness that he wanted most to help clear his head.
Pushing his white hair back from his eyes, he pondered the connection between the death and the births, certain there was one. He was equally certain that what he had witnessed were actual events, not flashes of fancy and imagination. Glancing at the staircase behind him, he considered waking his family, but he was still a child, unproven and untrained in Elyri ways, and he doubted that anyone would believe him. Only Ártur would, and thus it would be best, he decided, to await his cousin’s return home. Ártur would have news from Rhidam, if there was any, and he would be able to prove the truth…and perhaps even explain it.
Kavan wanted that proof himself.
With a small shrug of resignation, he settled again upon the plush woven rug and tried unsuccessfully to refocus on his book. Too many unsettling things had happened to him in the last three days; this was only the latest oddity to plague him. Based on what he knew of his people, he presumed that the Elyri gifts were awakening within him, as they did in all of his kind. But he knew how his uncle frowned upon such gifts, and it made him wary of speaking up, of revealing himself to them, or anyone. He was afraid of their rejection. Afraid of the power.
Looking down into the palm of his white hand, he watched with fascination as a small flame sprang to life there, glimmering and flickering as a candle but burning nothing.
On the practice field, Bhríd was trying to teach Muir to feel an opponent’s advance when he could not see it. A difficult feat for someone who was not Elyri, but the prince was, as usual, proving to be more proficient than his Elyri teacher expected. Perhaps his constant exposure to Elyri had sharpened the boy’s natural intuition. A small flame of pride flickered within Kavan but he extinguished it quickly. Muir could have been his son for all of the pride he took in the prince’s accomplishments.
Vision blurring, the bard lost sight of the men on the field and the castle walls beyond. Instead of struggling against the vision he knew was coming, he relaxed into it, hoping to avoid the worst of the usual nausea and dizziness that came with them. Two in such rapid succession was rare and thus important. This time he Saw Muir standing at the foot of a cliff, in a musty cavern, a sword raised above his head as though he was preparing to drive it into an unmoving opponent at his feet. Kavan could hear Prince Wilred crying again, and somewhere far off he could hear Caol arguing with someone. Several paces to Prince Muir’s left, a body lay face down amidst a scatter of jagged boulders and stones. The form was regally dressed, though dirty, but from this distance, it was unrecognizable. Though Kavan strained to push the Sight towards the figure, the vision would not allow itself to be molded. He could see only what it allowed. Within the vision, there came a loud crashing of falling rocks and Kavan’s view went dark.
Groaning, he pushed himself off the ground, knowing better than to ask how he had come to be face down in the grass. The Sight did strange things to him sometimes, and he long ago stopped trying to understand it. Prince Muir and Bhríd ceased their practice and rushed to him; the prince was already there helping him up with concern on his young face.
“What is it, Lord Cliáth?” the prince asked. “Are you well?” He worried more for his tutor since his mother’s death. He could not bear to lose Kavan as he had lost her.
“I am. It is nothing that should concern you, my prince…”
Bhríd squatted beside him and placed a hand upon his kinsman’s shoulder. “llánec?”
It was a term the prince had heard before, and he knew what it meant. Brow knit in worry, he knelt and asked, “What did you see? What has happened?”
“I…” Kavan shook his head. “It is something that will happen…or could happen, but it was not clear enough to say any more about what it means.” He raised a hand to stop the boy’s questions. “The Sight is not always obvious, my prince. Often its images are cryptic. I can know what it wants me to see and no more, and right now, what I have Seen makes very little sense.”
From the my earliest memories of creating picture books designed to
bring stories I read or saw on television to a more satsifactory
end, storytelling has been my primary passion for as long as I can
recall. Whether doing so through theatre, dance, music or
words, expressing the inner self, or the world as perceive it, has
been my compulsion.
Who doesn't watch a good movie, or read a good book, and imagine 'what if' or 'if only'?
After a lifetime of living all over the United States, I've made my home in the Northern California county of Lake with a variety of furbabies who keep me on the run. In addition to writing, I'm a movie and music lover, and a proponent of continued education throughout one's life.
White Pawn is my first publication.