ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Autumnal Lady - Chapter IV - A Father's Friends

Updated on October 29, 2014

This is the fourth chapter of my fairy tale, The Autumnal Lady. In this chapter, we meet two friends of Taliesin, the stranger from the prologue. If you have not read chapter three please go here. Enjoy!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Chun, The Cook of The Crowned RoseChun, The Cook of The Crowned Rose
Chun, The Cook of The Crowned Rose
Chun, The Cook of The Crowned Rose | Source
Chun, The Cook of The Crowned Rose
Chun, The Cook of The Crowned Rose | Source

A Father's Friends

As Oliver looked at the strange green clad woman, a shudder ran down his spine. How could she possibly know that I opened the chest? he wondered to himself. Who is she? What does she want? Why is she here?

“Chun,” the woman said in a kindly voice, “would you mind leaving us for a short time. Oliver and I have much to discuss.”

Chun bowed his head to the lady and turned to walk out into the common room of the inn. As he passed by Oliver, he reached out his hand and squeezed the young lad’s shoulder. Leaning in, he whispered, “Hear her out, lad. She does not seem like a bad sort to me.”

Oliver slowly walked over to the table and sat down. The woman joined him and said, “It is a pleasure to finally meet you, Oliver, but you are probably wondering, who I am.”

“I might be,” Oliver replied.

The woman leaned back in the chair and shook her head, which was still hidden under the hood of her cloak. “As I said, I am Willow, but that probably means very little to you. I was a friend of your father, Taliesin.”

“The friend that he made the promise to?” Oliver asked.

The woman let out a melodic laugh. “Nay,” she said with a shake of her head. “That friend is one far more majestic than I could ever hope to be. I know that you must be hurting, Oliver. Your entire life has been turned upside down because you have discovered that you are not who you thought you were.”

“What would you know of that?” Oliver asked angrily.

“More than you might think,” Willow replied in a calm and gentle voice. “My life has been turned upside down several times, and it has rarely gone the way that I expected it to.”

“What do you want?” Oliver growled.

“I want you to understand why your father left you,” Willow replied. “He did not want to.”

“Then why did he?”

“Your father was a good man, Oliver,” Willow replied gently. “He was without a doubt one of the best sons of Adam that I have ever known. However, life did not always go the way that he desired. He did what he did to protect you.”

“That is what he already told me,” Oliver snapped.

“Trust me,” Willow said with a sigh. “It is true. A great evil was chasing him because it wanted you dead.

“Why would anyone want to kill a child?”

“Because you were the child of Taliesin,” Willow replied. “Long ago, Merdinus the Archmage and Taliesin set out to make a better world for us all. They tried to end the chaos of The Elemental Wars, but in so doing, they made many enemies who possess great and terrible power. One of the greatest of them was called the Winter King. With Taliesin’s death, the Winter King is preparing to return to these lands, but he knows that Taliesin’s son can stop him.”

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Craig the BrownieCraig the Brownie
Craig the Brownie
Craig the Brownie | Source
Craig the Brownie
Craig the Brownie | Source

Before Oliver could answer, the door swung open, and an almost comical figure came prancing into the room. Oliver, having lived on the edge of Fairy his entire life, instantly recognized the creature as a brownie. It had the overly long arms of its race so that its hands were at the level of the top of its blue boots. It also had a long coppery beard that fell past its waist, and long tapered ears pointed out from beneath its hair. Its face was the type that only a mother could love with an overly large nose at its center. It was dressed in a simple smock.

Willow turned towards the brownie and said, “What is it, Craig?”

“Leaping lilies,” the brownie said as his eyes fell on Oliver, “is this he?”

Willow chuckled. “He is Taliesin’s son,” she said gently.

“No I’m not,” Oliver barked.

“Never mind, never mind,” Craig said with a shake of his head, “far more important things to

talk about at the moment. The Fomorians and the trolls are on the move.”

“Why?” Willow asked.

“Blustering nightmares,” Craig shot back, “how should I know. They don’t exactly consult me or anything since I am technically their enemy last time I checked.”

“The Autumnal Lady would only move her forces if she knew Oliver’s location,” Willow said, “but how could she have found out?”

“Uh,” Oliver said.

“What did you do?” Willow asked as she turned back towards Oliver.

“Look,” Oliver snapped. “I do not have to explain myself to you lady.”

“Oliver,” Willow snapped, “if the Autumnal Lady knows where you are, you are in grave peril. Do I make myself clear?”

“Look here,” Oliver growled, “I don’t even know what you are, so…”

Before Oliver could finish what he was saying, Willow threw back the hood of her cloak to reveal a face covered in bark-like skin. It was unlike anything that Oliver had ever seen. “I am Dryad,” she said, “a Wood Elemental. Taliesin and I were bonded as he was a mage of no small power. Now, I am trying to see that his last wishes are fulfilled and that his son lives to a ripe old age. The Fomorians and the trolls worship the Winter King as a god and serve the Autumnal Lady, and they will kill you. What do you know?”

“I met someone claiming to be the Autumnal Lady in my dream last night when I tried to leave Candida,” Oliver replied.

“Who is Candida?” Willow asked.

“The girl in my dream,” Oliver said.

“Dancing tadpoles, you gave her a name,” Craig said in a voice of excitement.

“I don’t want anything to do with this craziness,” Oliver snapped as he began to get up from his seat.

“Oliver,” Willow began, but Oliver was no longer listening. He went into the common room of the inn and began to work. All that day, he avoided Craig and Willow, and that night he did not dream of Candida. However, around midnight, he was awoken by the loud and wild ringing of the warning bell and by men shouting.

Who is attacking?

See results
Cast your vote for Chapter IV of The Autumnal Lady

Links

Why I Love The King Arthur Stories

The King Arthur Stories were my first introduction to the realm of fairy tale and fantasy, and they created the lifelong love for the two in me. In this article I discuss some of the reasons why I still love these classic tales of knights.

The Adventures of Lucius: Prologue

The prologue to my tale of the amnesiac wizard Lucius. It takes place in the cosmos of Arvala. It also includes a foreword written by Lucius' friend Nanus and footnotes by the gnome Kiannith.

Luthra's Awakening: Death, Thy Father

The first of a series of short stories from the cosmos of Arvala. In these stories we follow the Banshee Elf Luthra as she comes to realize that all she has believed and been taught by her death centered culture is a bunch of lies.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)