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Andia Kolakowski

I am a left-brained hobbyist

35

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Chronicles of Efia: Dawn

UPDATES BELOW!

Blurb

When nineteen year old Fulbright learns that the Great Spirit Llewell has chosen him to be the next king of Ackerely, the stifling thought of living in the shadow of his father's legacy chases the youngest prince to the desert. With the hope of establishing his own identity, Fulbright makes a life for himself among the desert nymphs of Parsha. However, when Fulbright discovers the origin of the Valley of the Shadows lying to the north of his father's kingdom, he must decide whether to return to Ackerley to reclaim his inheritance and save his kingdom, or to sit and watch his home decay as it succumbs to the darkness waiting to devour it from within. (on wattpad now!)

Book Cover

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Audience

My story is written for 18-30 year olds who enjoy LOTR-esque fantasy. I have a few characters who are inspired by people groups I have experienced from an early age, so I am hoping that my story is relatable to people of different nationalities.

Excerpt

Fulbright did as he was told and walked over to where the other students were all murmuring amongst themselves about Malay while waiting for Omar to return. At least they were not talking about Fulbright’s escapade any longer nor his defeat. Fulbright sat down next to Demur and assured him that Malay was going to be okay. A dark haired woodland elf approached Fulbright and Demur, climbing over the rows of seating until he was in the row directly behind them. He slowly lurched forward until his lips were just between both their ears.

“Hello Demur,” he said cooly.

Demur and Fulbright jerked in their seats as they crossed their hands over their hearts to calm them. The elf leaned back and cackled. “You know, your Highness, I think you lost your fight with Malay because your senses are dull. But I guess that is what happens when you are a a mingler. You’re just plain inadequate,” the elf smirked.

“What do you want, Keir?” Demur muttered, straightening his attire.

Keir turned his head toward Demur and smiled coyly as he leaned back in his seat and interlocked his fingers behind his head. Fulbright tried to refrain from shuddering at Keir’s appearance. Keir was not in the least unattractive. His skin was just shy of being tawny, and paired well with his dark wavy locks. His smile was actually warm and inviting despite the fact that behind his carefree smile, his tongue was always loaded with an insult. His right eye was the color of green olives, but his left eye was an anomaly. No one in all of Ackerely had a birthmark like his; even minglers like Fulbright and Malay never produced features like Keir’s. There was a pale white birthmark that extended from his hairline, which was partly white as well, down to his eyelid, eclipsing part of the pigment from his iris. The top was a silvery white, and the bottom sliver of iris formed an olive green crescent moon.

Keir’s smile faded when he noticed Fulbright absent mindedly staring at his eye. He brushed his long wavy fringe to his left eye, cloaking it in shadow. He sat erect now to mask his insecurity.

“Well?” Fulbright chimed in.

Keir ignored him. “Tell me, Demur, how is your sister Lemra these days? Such a pretty thing.”

“What about her?” Demur mumbled through gritted teeth.

Fulbright guffawed. “As if she would be interested in a toad.”

“So crass, Fulbright,” Keir clicked his tongue, wagging a finger at Fulbright. “And the son of a king too. Demur you really ought to consider whom you have as friends. Seriously, why do you associate yourself with these asinine Alodians? Have you no respect for your kind?”

“If you are what represents my kind, then yes I have no respect for it,” Demur shot back. “I honestly don’t know why it bothers you so much and why you dislike either side of Fulbright.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t say that,” Keir replied sardonically, grazing his chin with calloused fingertips. “His woodland heritage is something to be proud of. Its his self-entitled, pious Alodian side that makes me cringe.”

Fulbright’s jaw tightened, “I’m right here!”

“Llewell gave the Alodians that position,” Demur protested.

Keir spit on the ground. “Hang it all! Just some lore the Alodians made up to make themselves feel important. And no one questions the fact that they’re the only ones to see the future, the only ones to commune with Llewell and the best restriction of all is that only one with Alodian blood can sit on the throne. And guess who gets to decide that ordination?”

Fulbright and Demur were silently staring at Keir’s face contort and flush red. As much as they did not care to agree with his accusations, Keir had a valid reason--at least in his thoughts--for disliking the Alodian presence. Fulbright lowered his eyes and began to squirm.

“Your silence either means you two are obtuse, or you know that I am right,” Keir continued. “You most of all, Fulbright.”

Fulbright winced. Before either could respond, Omar returned to the gymnasium and Gaven called Keir’s name, as he was the last person to fight. Keir left them with a lingering sneer as he made his way to the center of the fighting area. Fulbright alleviated his parched throat with a heavy swallow. He and Demur tried to relax in their chairs once again.

“Who do you choose, Keir?” Omar asked.

“Rahnka and I will do battle first, followed by Orik, and then I will finish off Demur,” Keir smiled crookedly as he looked at Demur.

Demur rolled his eyes; Keir did not intimidate him in the least bit. He had never slighted the elf, so his tauntings were more of a nuisance than anything. In addition, he knew that he was better than Keir although he would never let on.

“Very well, you and Rahnka go and prepare yourselves.”

Rahnka was a desert nymph, one of very few at the school. The Peorians, that is those from the desert, were known to wear white linen, hooded cloaks whenever in Ackerley and they all had a scarcely visible golden tattoo. It started from the left side of their face, traveled down the side of their neck and shoulder, and then down their left arm. A beautiful tapestry of symbols and patterns, it was the way Peorians identified one another. The tattoo stated the person’s name, age, family history, what area of Peor they were from and dwelled in, and occupation. Rahnka removed two kukri blades from two beautifully crafted sheaths she carried on her belt and began to warm up by spinning them at her sides. Keir removed his sword from his scabbard after he slipped his longbow and arrows behind his back.

Time soon began and the two were immersed in combat. Rahnka was a first year student at the school, but surprisingly she kept up with Keir. Her acrobatic and sword fighting skills were her definite forte. Keir was a weak swordsman, but he fought mostly with it because he thought he could still out beat a first year student. However, as time dwindled, Keir could see Rahnka was better skilled than he with the sword, although he would have never admitted that to anyone. Her power was incredible, but it was how her magical abilities smoothly danced in tandem with her fighting technique that mesmerized her classmates. She summoned a sand funnel that devoured Keir and spit him out to the other side of the arena. She formed multiple mirages of herself, but Keir was unfamiliar with this technique and could not make out the real Rahnka in time to block her attack.

Indeed, Rahnka was giving Keir the fight and humiliation of his life, and he grew angrier all the more. He was finally able to knock one of the kukri from her grasp and then the other. Rahnka ran and retained one of the kukris as Keir chased after her while drawing out his bow, his strongest asset. She grabbed the second kukri and continued running toward the other end of the arena. With the magic he possessed, Keir moved a few of the logs used during the last fight to block Rahnka. Instead of coming to a halt, Rahnka ran up the trunk of one of the logs a good eight feet above ground and then kicked off of it into a back flip, twisting her body in the air so that when she landed she would be facing her opponent. Keir released his arrow as Rahnka began to descend, the arrow piercing the tail of her cloak and pinning her to the logs. Rahnka dropped one of her blades as her body jerked back toward the logs.

Keir was more than fifty yards away from Rahnka and began to walk slowly toward her. He took out another arrow as Rahnka dangled on the log. He stopped at thirty yards reached behind his back to pull out an arrow, his expression placid as he placed the arrow slowly in the bow and pulled the string back until his fingers brushed against his cheek. Rahnka struggled to graze the ground with her toes, but it was no use; her feet were more than three feet off the ground. She began to fidget with unlatching the bronze dragon claw that clasped her cloak at her throat. The cloak pressed firmly against her neck until she gasped for air. She looked up, her eyes widening as she watched Keir aim his arrow at her skull.

“What is he doing?” Fulbright asked Demur as he pointed toward Keir.

Master Omar looked up from his score card in time to see what Keir was doing. “Call time, Gaven!”

“Time!” Gaven shouted. “TIME!”

Keir continued to draw back his arrow, Rahnka desperately trying to tear herself from her cloak. Her arms were stuck in the armholes as she endeavored to shimmy her arms through the holes and drop from the bottom. Fulbright lept from his seat and onto the arena floor as he raced towards Keir. To everyone’s horror, Keir took his fingers off the bowstring, almost smiling as he watched the arrow depart from the bow.

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