This story is unlike any other published by the author of Chloe and Louis, Planet Omega, The Stranger and most recently, Ladykiller. This is a fantasy, taking place in the whimsical realm of Wisteria Falls. It's ruled by two opposing families who must coexist under a peace treaty. The feuding thrones of Wisteria rule under strain, defeated acknowledgement of the other's dynasty, but that changes after a chain of events that you can read when it's published! The character development in this story is in depth, descriptive and dramatic; hopefully leaving a lasting impression on readers as the story continues.
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No storyteller has ever captured the majesty of Wisteria Falls, nor have any maps or atlases. Even travelers passing near and by the treasured township know not of its existence. Those who visit seldom leave, and those who do usually return to become parts of the community. It's a happy place, a place of serenity and peace and unity – nestled against a backdrop of towering trees and marshlands in a deep valley facing the Sea of Glass and Fire. It's a place of color splashed about the atmosphere, like a painting brushed from every pigment known in the cosmos. Hidden beyond a lake atoll where the South meets the North and the East meets the West, Wisteria Falls is more than just a hidden gem the world forgot; nor is it a simple place.
The time before the spring was a time of chaos, war and conflict. The empire of Wisteria was split between two dynasties. For five thousand years, the realm was in turmoil with the two powers at odds. To the north, the De'Segrave throne ruled strong, undaunted against the magick of the Frosts who ruled the Coast of Blades, which connected to the treacherous sea that lapped against the valley. With the rivalry and the separation between the two families, the people and all of their kin of Wisteria were split as well. Those who partook in the mysticism endorsed by the Frosts were shunned by their northern neighbors, who used a magick of their own that differed from the neutral and sometimes ominous powers of the south. The followers of the De'Segrave throne cast a shadow over the bay that endured throughout many centuries. It was a punishment for their ways. It was penance for not accepting the way of the light and the way of the suns that set and rose only for the north.
The Frosts and their people did persevere, for the darkness gave them strength and hope. Their magick was strong and their determination to rule Wisteria was just as sturdy as the dominion of the De'Segraves. The hunger for total power was strong between both family heads, and in result many died. Five thousand years and twenty thousand fallen men, women and children were the only things shared in common between both families. Only the blood of their people kept them focused, and it was brutal. The wars lasted several generations and with each passing leader, the anger and hatred for one another increased with an intensity that nearly destroyed the kingdom.
The Frost blood ran dominant through the veins of many of Wisteria, and the darkness that cast above them fueled the fervor of the final battle. Enstylius Frost was a powerful man who led his brood and their allies in a victory march to the northern territories of the De'Segrave dynasty.
United, their magick was devastating.
Enstylius embraced the darkest side of the neutral form of magick practiced by the bay. Singularly, the father-leader of the southern kingdom blackened the suns that shone over his enemies. He cast a shadow over the northern kingdom of De'Segrave with depths far more voluminous than the darkness that hovered over his own dominion. The shadow loomed over the luscious, green empire that was once bathed in the goldenrod glow of their sister orbs, the providers of warmth and nourishment for the fairer northern kingdom.
The followers and throne of De'Segrave did not fair well.
Their cherished crops withered and a bitter cold kept the soil sterile and iced. The wildlife on which they relied migrated east to the forests of Wisteria. In turn, they went hungry. The De'Segrave leader, Octavio, was as headstrong as his more-powerful opponent to the south. He would not cave to Enstylius, even when the Frost kingdom offered an exchange of the wealth of the Sea of Glass and Fire. It was a plentiful source of nourishment for the southernmost kingdom, which had been trapped in the fog for too many years to count. The followers of the Frosts believed as their leaders, that the De'Segrave kingdom got as they deserved. When sickness struck and many died, Enstylius made his move with an entire army in tow.
It was a bloodbath, but it was a turning point.
Wisteria, both north and south, was nothing bud shades of black and gray, bleak with the blood of the fallen inhabitants of the valley. The bitter chill in the air brought in by the sea frosted the entire region, threatening to slowly coat the realm in ice. Enstylius grew stronger with each fallen enemy of the Frost dynasty, and with this increase in magick came changes, changes that frightened even his own people. He was drunk with the ecstasy of conquering the people who had trapped his empire for several thousand years, but he was also intoxicated on the primal joy of being in power. The specters of the sea and the spirits of the wind possessed the powerful Frost leader, and he changed for the worse during the slaughter of his norther enemies.
His changes took a physical manifestation and Enstylius Frost transformed from the porcelain-skinned, fair-of-face southerner to something insidious and draped in the very black fog that consumed the entire valley of Wisteria. He was not visible to his people or to his foes. He was a swirling black haze of smoke and mist that stung with the same bitter cold as the frosted breeze that swept through the empire. He had literally become the very vapor that had consumed the world with such ferocity that it seemed doomed with extinction. Wisteria was in danger.
Octavio couldn't stay in hiding for long. Enstylius Frost slaughtered the many guards of the De'Segrave throne and forced the man from the hidden chambers of his hillside manor. He was frail, ill and defeated by the lack of food and light and health. He was befalling the same fate as all of the people of Wisteria. The feud was far too fatal for all of the empire and the followers of both dynasties were weak. It was Enstylius who persevered after all of his men had fallen, and the women and children of his stock were in hiding in the forests of the realm. By the time the two powerful leaders stood face-to-face, only seven hundred people remained in the entire land of fog and frost.
Octavio cowered, for he could not muster the strength to stand against his longtime rival. His magick was gone, diminished like the light in his soul. It was a time of defeat for the people of the De'Segrave empire. Enstylius emerged from the foreboding swirl of vapor, a man like all others once more. The black-haired, blue eyed man of the Coast of Blades was striking, dominant. His skin glowed with the health and vigor of a man half his age and he stood regally above his cowering opponent. It's argued that the elder De'Segrave did not beg for his life, but as it is written he was less than noble. He offered the magick of the north in exchange for his own life, which came with an offering of the wind spirits and the souls of their fallen. All of the magick of the realm would fall into the hands of Enstylius.
In his mortal form, out of the mask of the fog he had summoned, Enstylius Frost was a noble and wise leader. He sought a land of life and peace for the people of Wisteria. He was not weak like Octavio, who would sell out the magick and the spirits of his people in exchange for a few extra years of life as an exile in the forests. Enstylius summoned his magick and with his advanced power, fueled by anger and oppression, he filled his nemesis with the life-force that had once been drained from him.
Rejuvenated, Octavio stood, but he was still depleted of the powers that had once kept the Frost empire at bay. He was powerless and obedient. The ancient texts of Wisteria say they embraced, and Enstylius Frost enveloped the two in the black and ominous vapor that struck the empire with sickness and blacked out the two suns. In that instant, a flash of sonic-white light blasted from the center of the black-shrouded realm. The rays of the phosphorescent glow emanated throughout the kingdom of Wisteria with a brightness that struck blind every single being that was not shielded by the woodlands to the east. The luminescent blast shook the ground beneath them, and the blackened skies cleared for the first time in the lifetimes of many who where left standing and hunkering behind the trees.
As the fog and frost cleared the air after the millisecond of light that seemed like an eternity, both leaders of the two empires were gone. They had vanished in the vapor that diminished in the first solar light seen in ages, but there was something different about the cosmic atmosphere that hovered above the empire. There was but one sun, and in the place of its once vibrant sister suspended an abysmal mass of onyx. The sun's sister was dead, as were the two dueling leaders of Wisteria.
The skies of the cursed land cleared instantaneously. The southern skies were no longer black, as they had been during the five thousand years of De'Segrave's dominion. The deep lavender hue shimmered with the spray of stars that spread across the vast heavens stretching over all of the land. The skies were once again the faded tone of amaranthine that had given birth to the name of their beloved home.
Wisteria Falls was once again one nation, and through the blood and tribulation of its people did this dream reach fruition. The solitary sun shone with a new-found life that drenched the plains and revived the valley. The exiles of both dynasties emerged from the shaded forest, followed by the animals that had fled during the black Enstylius had cast, save for the horses who refused to return.
The five thousand years of conflict were over, and the powers of both families reunited in peace after their tyrannical leaders and father-heads had fallen. It was a new world order that began on a road to mending the aftermath of the several-years war. Two thousand years came to pass and the generations of both dynasties ruled together. The Frosts kept the Coast of Blades and the De'Segraves continued their dominion over northern Wisteria – but their treaty gave the people freedom to both districts of the beloved kingdom.
It was a treaty forged from fear, for the Frosts still had the power to crush and conquer. However, the young leader left behind by Enstylius wanted nothing of the hills beyond the plains, and only wanted one thing: For all of Wisteria to be out of the darkness. So it was agreed, and both families pushed aside their bitter feelings of envy and desires for brutal vengeance.
And so began the golden years of Wisteria Falls, the mighty land of dual dynasties working in unison for the beings of its soil. The new world order changed the lives of all, and in place of rule was compromise and law, and magick wasn't a factor of governing power. It was forbidden, for the children of Enstylius and Octavio suffered through the generations the effects of their revolutionary battle.
Wisteria became a place of peace once more, but the peace was only superficial...