Freebie Mondays: A Mistborn Faerie Tale

Freebie Mondays: A Mistborn Faerie Tale

Shortly after writing my Elven Funeral Song, I decided to take another stab at epic poetry writing. This time I wanted to write a nursery rhyme, something that might be recited by children at play. To go about it, I started jotting down all my ideas so that I could then condense them into a series of hard-hitting, hopefully rhyming lines.

Instead, I fell in love with the prose that came flowing out of my head, so I decided to go with a storybook-style story instead. Like the funerary song, I used this as an opportunity for some extra worldbuilding for my Aruvalia Chronicles. This is the kind of story that Domerin might have been told as a child, a story specifically from the history of the region where he grew up (the Mistborn Forest – so named because the mist seems to cling to the trees during the morning and evening).

No one is entirely sure whether this is a true story or merely a fabrication.
. . .

Beyond the mist that chokes the forest in which we live lies a far distant land. There grows a forest that is lush and fair, choked with a rainbow of blossoms that have no name in this mortal realm. Green and verdant the wide leaves grow, and blue as aquamarine glimmers the sky. The water there runs clearer than the cleanest looking glass, and magic chokes the earth from which all springs.

This is the ancestral homeland of all creatures Sylvan, who migrated to the Mistborn to find refuge from the cruel workings of the old Fae court. It was there one day a young Sylvan maiden strayed from the newly budding city to explore the rolling hills of this newly untouched world and encountered a human.

Breathless, the maiden was taken aback, for she had never met such a pale and fragile creature as the young man that stood before her. He, too, was struck dumb by the sight that stood before him. For he had never beheld such beauty as a maid who’s skin glimmered like starlight and whose hair fell like a waterfall about her back and shoulders. Her eyes glimmered like twin suns and the bright fabrics that clothed her danced like fire on the wind.

With the spark of youth, each spoke with fervor about their origins, their hurried speech rushing to convey the details that they may know the depths of wonders new discovered. And by the end of the rushed telling, each was so enamored with the other, neither could bear to be apart. The boy asked the maiden to return with him to his village, a day’s ride outside the forest where she dwelt. But the girl was too afraid to leave what little she considered familiar and bade him return with her to the Sylvan city instead.

Full of foolish passion, the young man agreed and, twining his fingers with his newfound love, they picked their way through the undergrowth together. Such high towers and dazzling spires as those that surrounded the trees in the Mistborn, he had never seen, and his mouth fell open in wonder when they stopped in the city courtyard.

But even as his new found love opened her mouth to explain what she found, her Sylvan brethren gasped with shock and horror. For the elders were dimly aware of the beasts which roamed this newly colonized land, and they had no desire to interact with dull and brutish mortals.

With a mighty roar, the young maiden’s father came forth, belching flaming rebuke. And even as the young maiden recoiled, he snapped his fingers and worked his mighty Sylvan magic to counter the breach of their new home’s security. Magic flowed from his fingertips and captured the young man while he still struggled to recover from his shock. So that when his body turned to stone, it forever stared with wonder.

To her knees the young maiden fell, stricken with such grief it seemed as though her heart had exploded within her chest. Tears burst forth from her cheeks, a mighty fountain on of sorrow. But no matter how she wet the still form of her beloved, his skin did not soften or return to life. With confusion, the young lady questioned her father, though her words were difficult to discern through her sobs. And no matter how the Sylvan of old argued against this creature that was bound to die to time’s sting, the maiden saw no reason to punish him so.

For weeks, she held vigil, kneeling at the feet of her frozen lover, pleading with her father and all those who would hear to spare the life and reverse his wretched fate. When it became clear that none could move her from her perch, they moved instead the human, placing him in a tangled garden on the outskirts of the city where few passed.

Undeterred, the maiden vowed within the depths of her soul that she would be with her beloved, no matter what the cost. Sylvan lives are blessed with eternal youth and vitality, for time’s arrow strikes not the core of their souls. And her lover here was preserved by the stone that locked him in a singularly frozen moment.

So the maiden abandoned her home, seeking far and wide a way to break the spell that held her human in thrall. She sought first among his kin, who missed him as dearly as she, but found no one there with magic strong enough to aid her. So she extended her travels into the far distant hills. She studied sorcery and alchemy, every science under that ancient sun. She spoke with every practitioner for a key to the conundrum that harried her. But no matter the potion, or spell, all were harmless and powerless to dent the magic her father wove.

At last the lady appealed to the gods in their high towers to aid her. And when her prayers fell on deaf ears, she traveled back through the mist to appeal to the Fae court of old. But though many were happy to laugh at her plight, none could provide the magic that would release her heart from its hold. So finally, many centuries after first she walked the path, the Sylvan maiden returned to the halls of her father, who waited for the wild storm in her heart to grow tame.

He expected her to speak words of reconcile. For he wished to clothe her in the crown of the forest queen, drape her in the riches of the woodlands and marry her to a strapping Sylvan noble that their line might one day grow strong and powerful. But in the darkness of the night, she stole from him the same dreams he denied her. All through the moonlight hours she measured from the ingredients in his workroom, brewing a powerful potion with all the knowledge she had gathered from her travels.

By brightest light of morning, she removed herself to the garden, where vines and flowers clung to the stone that still encased her lover. There she wept one last time for all that could not be, and reaffirmed the vow she spoke that, somehow, their hearts would be entwined forever through the ages. She wrapped her arms around his neck and laid her head on her shoulders, then unstoppered the vial she carried and drank the potion she brewed down to the last drop.

By the time the sun was full risen, its brilliant rays struck not one love-struck statue but two.

When the maiden’s father found her, he fell to his knees, struck by grief as strong as that which once caused his daughter to sob like hard summer rain. But when finally he called his magic to unwork what she wrought, he found that his magic could not touch the newly formed stone. For so great was his daughter’s skill, her magic could not be undone while the original working remained.

Grief stopped his heart soon after – or so the elders say. They also say that both statues remain in that shaded grove, though now it is protected by high walls and strong magics. There the two lovers endure the endless ages, waiting for magic powerful enough to awaken their eternally entwined hearts.

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