Drake: Part One
Author's note: This is the story following Vierna by my account forgotten_realms_.
I apologize for the delay. As of now, all my stories will be written and submitted
by this username, larin_ellotan. I hope you enjoy this story. All characters from
the castle are fictional (except, of course, King Skarl), and any similarities
A shadowy figure traveled across the grounds of Meridell
castle, carrying a small bundle.
"Quiet, little one," a male voice whispered
gently in response to a whimper from the bundle. "You will soon be safe, but
now you must be quiet."
Malyice walked along her familiar path, heading towards the bench in the garden
she knew so well. Malyice hadn't gone on this walk for a couple of years now,
but for some reason she felt compelled to go today. There was something there
that hadn't been before, however.
"Hello, what's this?" the old Eyrie wondered
aloud when she reached the bench and saw the small bundle of silks resting on
the old seat.
"Oh, aren't you a sweetie!" she exclaimed as
she moved aside a corner of the cloth to reveal a small Draik's face. The child
yawned and opened his eyes. Violet eyes.
"I wonder where your parents are…" she said,
looking around. Anyone rich enough to buy silks to wrap their baby in wouldn't
just leave him just lying around. Unless they didn't want him. "Oh, you poor
dear," she cooed, stroking the side of his head with the flat of her claw. "Well,
we can't leave you here, now, can we? Don't worry, little guy, I'll take care
of you." This must be why I came today, she thought.
"Yes, pray do," whispered a shadowy figure sitting
in a tree as she traveled out of earshot. "Pray do," he whispered again, wiping
a tear from his cheek as his child left. He extended his pure black wings and
flew from his perch, blue stars shining in the sunlight.
"Krenna! Krenna, get over here!" yelled king Skarl to a young red Draik.
"Yes, your majesty?" I asked meekly, dipping
into a low bow.
"Pour me some more wine!"
I nodded quickly and scurried over to the table
where the wine and goblets were kept. I poured a cup, making sure not to spill
a drop, then hurried over to Skarl, presenting the golden goblet with a white-gloved
hand. It was part of the servant's livery; white gloves to protect the food
he handled, a red tunic, and blue breeches, topped off with a silver cloak.
I was one of Skarl's favorite servants-I served without complaint, without question,
and always did what I was told perfectly. Except for that one time, of course,
when I tripped over my own feet, foolish me, and splashed Skarl's best wine
all over the ambassador's clothes (though, thankfully, the ambassador had forgiven
Kings Skarl and me, because I was so young). Other than that, I had never made
a mistake. I had accepted his punishment for that incident without complaint,
though, and was restored to my place as the most honored servant. Which was
why I wore silk and was given the best servant's room in the castle.
"Does my king want anything else?" I asked,
giving another deep bow.
"No, that will be fine, Krenna, go back to your
"As my Lord, King Skarl, commands." I hurried
off, then, to go to my rooms. By 'rooms' I mean the place I sleep in, the place
I have company in, and the place I bathe in. No other servants had accommodations
like this; even some of the lesser Nobles had only had a small corner of their
rooms reserved for bathing. My favorite thing about the room, however, was the
view. It peeked over the tower walls, and I had the most wonderful view of the
hillside, especially at sunset. At sunrise, I would walk over to the other side
of the castle, go up the stairs to the battlements, and watch the color dance
upon the sea. I walked because no one was willing to teach me how to fly. The
guards on the battlements liked me, but they were too busy to teach me in the
mornings when I came to watch the sunrise, Malyice was too old to fly anymore,
and the few servants who had wings were either too old or crippled. And so I
was destined to the ground, only to soar in my dreams.
I went over to my bed, to a loose floorboard
beneath the head of the bed, and lifted it up, taking out a few items.
"Is this my destiny?" I wondered aloud as I
fingered the silk blanket with the name Krenna embroidered on the top. "To forever
serve my lord, King Skarl?" I picked up the curious sword that Malyice had given.
"Will I never fly, never fight?" I slipped the straps of the shield Malyice
had given me over my left arm. There was no emblem I recognized on it, just
a Draik's fist up in the air, and it was obviously meant to hold something,
but whatever it had been was gone. I wanted to be a knight, but your parents
had to be there for the ceremony, and take part in it, but Malyice was too old
"Krenna?" called Malyice's voice.
Malyice-my mother, an old silver Eyrie-entered
my room. Seeing me holding my sword and wearing my shield, she smiled. "Fantasizing
of being a knight?" she asked.
"Yes," I told her.
"Hmm." She went over to a low, soft stool-like
item made especially for her. It was just long enough to support her head on
the part of it that was raised, and have her tail hang off the end, and just
wide enough for her to comfortably have both her legs off the side. It was lower
in the center, so that her body would fit better, and was almost sitting on
the ground so she would only have to walk over it and lower her body down in
order to rest on it. Since she was so old, the less effort she had to do to
rest, the better. It had put me back quite a bit, but it was worth it. I had
also had one made-not quite as fancy as this one, but still quite comfortable-for
her private room.
"Krenna, you know I will not live forever."
"No one lives forever. Our fates are decided
before we are born. Not everyone will join armies or be king. We must be content
with what we have and live to life's extent," I recited mother's favorite saying.
"Very good, Krenna. You say it better every
I swelled with pride. I was only a couple months
old, so my mother's praise was better than any praise even King Skarl could
"Of course, you understand that everyone's life
must end sooner or later, whether at the end of a blade," she looked pointedly
at my curious red-and-blue sword "or by old age, or by sickness."
I started to realize what she was getting at.
"I will not live forever, Krenna, though I hope
you will live longer than some of those fool knights out there, charging off
into battle without a thought resembling sanity. I am old, Krenna, but not helpless.
Nor poor-I have been saving up my wages for years, now, though I do not believe
I will be needing them, so I am giving them to you." She opened up her wing
and a bag of coins dropped to the floor. "You will need them, child, for when
"Orphans are not permitted inside the castle,
unless taken in by a servant, noble, or the king," I recited softly. Most servants
resented me for being so high in Skarl's favor, so I could scratch that, and
the nobles were too proud to take in a mere servant, so I couldn't count on
that, either. That left King Skarl, and though I was his favorite servant, he
wouldn't adopt me. So I was an orphan with no one to take care of me, once mother
"I have a small house I would bring you to if
I were not so tired," she told me. "I will give you the address, for you to
go there once Skarl rids the castle of you. It's at 33459 Ixi Road. Now, I must
be off, rooms to clean and such." I could almost hear her bones creaking as
she got up off the stool. "Oh, Krenna," she called back over her shoulder as
she reached the door, "bring some of the larger stuff there, now, so when you
must go, you leave with just a bag."
"I will, mother."
She left, and I was left standing there all
alone, shield on my arm, sword in hand, and a large sack of coins lying on the
floor near me.
The next day, I was up on the battlements, viewing the sunset.
"Melnorth, when are you off your shift?" I asked
a kind green Draik.
"I was wondering if you could teach me to fly
when you're off."
"Sure I could. You'll have to skip lunch, though,
seeming as you wait on King Skarl for his lunch before your own, then wait on
him after that in case he needs anything."
"That's alright, I can get some food from the
kitchen between shifts."
"All right, then. See you at lunch."
I nodded, watching the sun as it came up.
I hurried over to the courtyard, eager to fly. Melnorth was waiting for me,
wanting to get started as soon as possible, so he could go home for a rest.
By the time we were finished the lesson, I was
quite good at it. Not yet an expert, but good enough to teach myself from then
"Shall I help you more tomorrow?" he asked me.
"No thanks, I've got the hang of it now. Thanks!"
"No problem. You'd better get back to King Skarl,
now, or else you might be late."
I nodded and ran off, pausing only to grab my
palace livery from my rooms.
"You're late, Krenna," King Skarl remarked as
I scurried into the throne room.
"I am sorry, my Lord King Skarl. It will not
He nodded. "Krenna, I have a very important
guest coming tomorrow, and I want my dining chamber spotless. The small one,
that is-only one person, he doesn't need to be served in a room meant for hundreds!"
"Yes, sir!" I bolted off to the smaller dining
chamber, and nearly had a heart attack. It was filthy! Dust coated the floor
so much it seemed as if I was wading in dirt, and cobwebs were in the corners,
giant Spyders hanging from threads of silk on the rafters. I would definitely
need help, here. Tucking my gloves behind my belt, I ran to the head servant,
the red Kougra who assigned every servant to a job.
"Sir, the Lord King Skarl needs to have his
small dining chamber spotless by tomorrow, when he will have an important guest
over for a meal. I need three able-bodied servants to assist me."
He looked at me for a while. "Very well. I will
assign you Dolnek, Zaln, and Korr. They will be at the smaller chamber to help
I nodded and grabbed a mop, bucket, and broom,
then ran off back to the dining chamber. Before long, the others arrived with
similar tools, finding me hard at work, breeches rolled up to the knees, sweeping
all the dust to one area. It didn't take long to sweep up everything, with four
of us, but there were still all the surfaces to dust. It was getting rather
dark by the time we finished polishing off the surfaces, but we still had mopping
to do. I sent Dolnek and Zaln to get hot water, as Korr and I finished off the
vases. After a little while, the room was done, but it was well past sunset
and we were exhausted.
"Good work, guys," I told them.
"You too. Didn't expect someone so tiny to be
able to do so much work."
I shrugged and went up the stairs to my room,
yawning. All I did once I reached my room was put my filthy clothes in the dirty
clothes basket and crawled into bed.
To be continued...