With Neil Gaiman publishing so many different sorts of graphic novel or stories like “The Sleeper and the Spindle” and “Odd and the Frost Giants” I thought I’d try a Faerie story.
Certainly different from my more epic fantasy. But I wanted to a carry on with doing illustration.
Here is my story so far and two images. Lianta the Sprite and the place she goes to interact with little red, a fox and dragon.
The Making Of Attera
Lianta searched the riverbank for objects washed up from the last rains. A glint of metal caught her eye. She flew closer. Half buried in the earth was a round pot. She touched it. But there was no spark to ignite her magic. Disappointed, she moved on.
The sound of hooves struck rock. Startled, she zipped into the nearby reeds and peeked out. A Nixie, half formed was trying to reach the water. It couldn’t. A band of armed faeries converged on it and sliced into its flesh, fast and hard. The Nixie’s magic broke. It returned to its female form and oozed orange- red blood
. The blood began to rise and curl into smoke, the smell and taste of it potent; dangerous. The faeries scattered with shrieks of frustration, all but one of them disappearing into the forest. He paused at the tree’s edge, eyes filled with hate before he too, was gone.
Lianta knew he’d be back. She was about to move when the Nix spoke. ‘Lost one.’
She froze. How could she see her?
‘By death’s grace I am free,’ the Nixie said and flowed toward the water. ‘Sprite. Your existence has been discovered. Look to the south and night’s new song. It will save you.’
‘Save us…?’ Lianta said but the Nixie was in the water, a green and golden horse again as she sank.
Lianta shuddered. If the Nixie knew about them – did they also know of the found objects? Was that why they’d attacked the Nixie, looking for information? The war had waged between them, ten long cycles, waxed and waned but it seemed it appeared the former.
She was worried about her people yet needed to find another found object. They were the source of their magic, objects pulled here from the world of man. They’d become the foundation of Aterra, their hidden city.
She thought of what the Nixie had said. Night could mean many things even dark shadow. Wind swayed branches and leaves, and a small exquisite sound filled the air. She froze. The sound came again, somewhere in the forest to the south. She flew off and spied the found object, a bell nestled within undergrowth.
The circumference of its base was a tenth of her size but knew that could deceptive. As she drew closer the shimmer of magic swirled back and forth. She took a chance and flew toward the gap and….was in, energy rushing through her body and wings with such force she almost burst.
She recovered after a moment and gazed about a great foyer, rimmed like a desert morning sun with gold and green.
Here was their salvation.
She moved forward to explore the new space through a scrolled gate to a vast and many layered structure. A door beckoned. She paused. Her imagination had supplied this vastness but where had it come from? Something seen or remembered from the past?
A table bore a scroll. Inside it was a map and list of four found objects. Who had made it? There was a name at the bottom. Ruby Demaron.
The name sparked something in her but it was illusive. Did it have anything to do with how the magic had manifested?
The pendant had been unique and her first home. It now belonged to another member of her family who needed it.
There were four founding families and she’d helped all of them to refine and enhance the magic. This object was bigger, significant. It could almost hold all of them.
Is that what the Nixie meant? Was Attera in that much danger?
The bell suddenly shook. She flew to the opening and met the vicious eyes of the male faerie. ‘Got you,’ he said.
She jerked back. He thrust his fingers inside b ut they were too big and he couldn’t reach her. He shook the bell, shouting, ‘You’re mine. You can’t escape.’ Then thrust the bell down into… his coat pocket. She knew it from its silk lined fragrance. She was stuck.
A fizz of energy ran down her spine. She turned. The map on the desk had opened. It appeared oddly thick. When she poked the edges with her nail it lifted back.
Inside was another piece of paper. Unfolded it revealed a pattern of swirls made in black ink. Without thought, she began tracing a curve and was soon in the centre. She drew back startled and found a lantern in her hand. It looked blurred as if in motion as it shone a light on an archway toward the back of the foyer. Emerald glinted. She moved forward and through to a rock cavern, lit by many small gemstones scattered across its walls and beyond to a pool.
Its surface was silver until she peered into it and saw a two storied, oddly metallic pink house nestled in a forest.
The house zoomed closer and suddenly she was right at its front door. She jerked around and the cavern had gone.