The Last Days of the Citadel: Part Five
Clivia, the Guardian of the Orb, was running through the corridors of Darigan Citadel. Narissa, the first apprentice, was chasing her.
Things in the Citadel were slightly chaotic at that moment, for Clivia had just set her Mallards loose. For the second time that day, the Petpets were flying everywhere in the Citadel. Clivia running and Narissa trying to stop her was another thing that made many citizens of the Citadel wonder what was going on. The respect they had for Clivia was high and although at the moment they might think she was acting highly unusual, no one would even consider stopping the White Draik.
How much respect Clivia still had was shown when two Eyrie Guards tried to stop her. With only a little command to let her pass, both Eyries jumped away like a buzzer had stung them.
Only when they reached the long, winding stairs, Narissa realised Clivia was climbing to the top of the High Tower.
Her breath stopped for a single second when she realised what Clivia was planning to do. More than ever, she had to stop the Draik now.
Clivia had locked herself in the Orb Room, but the key to the Orb Room was one of the privileges of the first apprentice, and Narissa had made it a good habit of wearing her first apprentice attributes with her all the time.
She didn’t arrive too late.
Clivia was about to take the Orb from its holder, ready to destroy it. However, the power of the Orb was strong, even for Clivia who had lost most of her magical powers. She was not yet able to break the Orb.
Narissa knew she had only moments now.
“Stop, Clivia! You don’t know what you’re doing!”
“Narissa!” The Draik turned round and walked toward the Ixi. For a moment, there was surprise in her voice, then she glared at the Ixi evilly.
“Don’t think you can stop me. I’m doing what has to be done! If the Orb continues to exist, it’ll bring evil on the Citadel and its inhabitants. I’ll have to stop this, before it is too late!”
She panted for a moment.
“They’re coming, Narissa; evil is coming. Strangers from a distant land, they’ve come to steal the Orb. The Kougra, he’s one of them. I had to hide him, before his companions would come and destroy everything!
Narissa gasped. “I’ve seen them invading our lands, raiding the Citadel!”
“Don’t you think I’ve never seen them? Oh no, of course you don’t, you’re so special! I think you’ve been enjoying those dreams! And Draconis would listen to his little Ixi friend for sure!”
There was a wild look in Clivia’s eyes.
There was a time these insults would have hurt Narissa; now they didn’t bother the Ixi anymore. The statement Clivia made was of more importance now.
“You’ve seen them too?”
“Oh yes, I had a vision about them arriving here years ago. However, prophecies don’t always have to come true, you know, right? That was the moment I stopped using my powers. I locked them out. I still made myself useful, made prophesies of good harvest, how to cure an illness, where to find a lost child, all the nice things, but nothing more.”
The Draik giggled madly.
“You don’t know how much dear Morguss proved useful to me. She revered me and I could make good use of that. She would get everywhere, hear all the gossip I could take my advantage of. Morguss would do anything I ordered her. The silly girl was hoping one day she could take over my place. She never had the powers for that of course, but it kept her following me. You see, if you want to be a good Guardian, good followers are all you need. What kind of powers you have doesn’t matter.”
She cast an evil grin at the astonished Ixi.
“I never knew whether Draconis knew the truth or not; there was one time he told me how he would knew whether a prophecy was false or true, when I thought he did actually know about it. But if anyone would be there to tell the Lord of Darigan about the doom of the Citadel, it would not be me.”
“Poor Clivia.” Suddenly Narissa felt deep sympathy for the Draik. “I’ve heard about how visions can make someone almost mad.”
Clivia regained a bit of her former self at those words.
“Not almost mad, Narissa, not almost.”
She looked sad, but then she got the wild look on her face again when she started running towards the Orb again.
“Nooo!!!” Narissa screamed. She started running at the Orb too, but she knew she could never be able to get past the mad Draik.
The door flew open when Kass rushed in.
“Stop her, Kass!” Narissa screamed. “She’s going to destroy the Orb!”
The bolt of magic flew suddenly across the room, hitting Clivia and knocking her down.
Of course Narissa knew the Lord of Darigan Citadel had magical powers. Every child in the Citadel knew that. However, she had known Draconis since they both were like those children and for all those years she had never seen him use his powers.
Draconis was standing in the room, a hint of magic power still glittering around his hands for those who could see it.
Sir Forian Friedl was standing close by him, his sword outstretched. Behind the two of them, Narissa spotted several armed Eyries. When Lord Darigan had found out about Clivia’s madness, he had not taken any half measures.
“Tie her hands,” he ordered one of the Eyries.
He walked towards Clivia, who was trying to get up. The magical blast had stunned her, but the Draik suffered no other injuries. Draconis helped her get up.
“I’m sorry for this, Clivia. There was a time I respected you highly as Guardian of the Orb. However, you know the rules the Lady of the Citadel made long ago. Once the Guardian of the Orb loses her second sight, she has to give her place to her apprentice. You’ve lost the sight long ago. You are Guardian of the Orb no longer!”
The last phrase, most of the ones standing in the Orb Room knew, was a formal one. Clivia had been dismissed from her duties as Guardian of the Orb.
Never had Narissa ever thought Clivia could look defeated. Now, with her hands tied, while Darigan had just taken away her title, the Draik actually did.
“Noooo!! What have you done!” Out of nowhere, the Moehog came running toward Clivia.
“You can’t do this, you’ve got to release her!” Morguss shouted.
One of the Eyrie Guards sprang forward, stinging the Moehogs shoulder with his sword.
She let out a cry of pain.
“Let her go,” Draconis ordered.
“Morguss.” He looked the Moehog deep in her eyes. “Morguss, Clivia, is feeling very confused right now. We had to stop her this way, or else she would have destroyed the Orb.
The Moehog bowed her head. She had trouble believing what Draconis was telling her, but for a long time, it had been taught to her by Clivia her superiors never lied. Not only that, but the look in Lord Darigan's eyes was telling her he had spoken the truth as well. Tears were leaking from her eyes.
“But...” she tried faintly.
“Poor Morguss.” The sympathy in Draconis eyes showed he had known what Clivia just told Narissa about the Moehog for a longer time. He laid his hand on her shoulder, trying to comfort her, for she was sobbing like crazy now.
He handed her over to one of the Eyrie Guards.
“Take her to the hospital wing to get her wound treated. Be kind with her.”
After this, the Lord of Darigan gave two other Eyries a wink.
“Take Clivia to her rooms and stand guard before them. Treat her with the same respect as usual, but do not obey any of her orders. I also expect you to keep an eye on her so she won’t hurt herself.”
He handed the White Draik over to the guards and bowed before her.
“I’m sorry, Clivia. You were a good Guardian of the Orb when you still had the power.”
Clivia looked at Draconis, Narissa and Kass with eyes full of hatred.
“Don’t pity me. Pity yourselves, the three of you. For there are three other creatures, ghostly creatures, who will get you when this is over! They can harm you in ways beyond even your imagination, Draconis!”
However, the Eyries took her with them and the White Draik was removed from the Orb room and brought to her own rooms.
Draconis watched her going, and then he gathered his friends and Sir Forian Friedl around him in the Orb Room. He looked sad.
“We are facing grave times and our Guardian has gone mad. Narissa, this is not the way I wanted it for you, but it has to be done. The Citadel might soon get raided, but if we manage to win, we can do it over and better.”
He lead the Ixi toward the Orb and held her hands. Then he placed her hands upon the Orb.
“You are the Guardian of the Orb now. Guard it with your life.”
From his room high in the towers of the Citadel, the Lord of Darigan was looking over his land. A land that he had lead in peace for all the years he had ruled it. Behind him stood the Guardian of the Orb and the leader of the Eyrie guard. He knew this was how it had always been in times of troubles, but for a long row of ancestors that had ruled before Draconis, the Citadel had known nothing but peace.
The only small comfort he had was that the ones who were standing behind him were his true friends. The events that happened today had proved this again.
The white Kougra known as Sir Forian Friedl was looking out of one of the other windows. Although both Draconis and Kass had sharper sight then he had, he knew better where to look for. However, the knights in their red and blue armour who were burning down the fields right now were hard to miss.
“So it has begun,” Draconis said slowly. “I’ve sent out General Galgarroth with his ground troops to stop them, and I expect the Eyrie guard to join them later on.”
Kass nodded. “We’ll be leaving as soon as I return to them.”
“Then go, my friend,” Draconis said. “Right now, we can only hope you will succeed. If you don’t, they’ll reach the Citadel within a day.”
He took a deep breath. “By the Lady of Darigan Citadel, I can only hope we will succeed. For if we fail, these days might be the last days of the Citadel.”
To be continued...