I couldn’t help but sigh as I walked towards the throne, even my soft footsteps echoing strangely in the quietness. I couldn’t count the times I’d dreamed of sitting on the throne, feeling the cool marble around me, looking down on the rest of the hall. But I’d never dared actually climb the steps to sit in it. I considered it a sacred spot, something that shouldn’t be sat on until everything was official—and I woke the Veldstone.
I stopped a few steps away from the crown, hating the way it seemed to glare at me in a mocking, taunting way. If I didn’t have to wake it to keep the two kingdoms together, I’d’ve probably thrown it out the window into the gorge by now.
Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath, willing my powers to focus on the crown, forcing the air around me to grow chill and icy. I hardly dared look a few seconds later when the cold abated.
But I did… and nothing had happened. Nothing at all. The Veldstone was still just a black stone in a silver crown. Just like it always had been.
I sighed again, wishing I could make the flames dance in it the way my father had when he was king.
At the time, I couldn’t think of anything worse than if the storm moon came and I couldn’t wake the crown. If the kingdoms were divided again. How could I be satisfied with only being the mountain king while living in the shadow of my father’s legacy? As I said before, he was Elrond Higgins—the most powerful elf anyone knew of since our ancestor, King Narya, had come over the mountains over thirteen thousand years ago during a civil war and united the people.
My father had even overcome goblin bites. Something that never happened before, or since, as long as the oldest elves could remember.
And I was just Alastair.
I hadn’t even been allowed to rule the past twelve years I’d been called king. It was all done for me by Mother and an elf named Brudak, whom I’d always been impartial to since he’d survived on the day my father had not.
I let a third sigh loose. This one of frustration—with Brudak, my mother, my father, the crown. Everything.
The crown seemed to be laughing at me again, mocking, daring me to try, and fail, again. I hated the way it stared, silently taunting.
My eyes, generally silver like Mother’s, flared orange—something I’d inherited from my father being bit by goblins. No one understood why, but I’d found that it only happened when I was feeling frustrated or angry. Sometimes just when I had a sword in my hand.
Having no real reason to be angry, except maybe with myself, I reached out a hand to knock the crown over. I’d had more than enough of its tormenting over the years. In fact, I couldn’t understand at all why the thing was kept around here. I’d never want to wear the ridiculous thing.
An electric jolt raced up my arm as I brushed the ice cold metal, and I forgot to keep moving.
The image of an elf with red eyes and overgrown teeth flashed through my mind. Blackened patches of what looked like mildew covered his skin.
The worst part was that I instantly recognized him.
* * * *
Thank you for reading! Please let me know what you think in the comments (I’m not easily offended if you have constructive criticism, so don’t be afraid to share) and keep on the look out for a cover reveal in the next week! I’m pretty proud of this one 🙂