Hello folks! Name's Chase, and I'm your author today. (bows) I'm proudly bringing you my story, Demon's Daughter, from the official Pendragon forums, now in chapter form rather than post form. (Yay!)
So, right off the bat, I will tell you that my story only follows DJ's perfectly for the first four books, then it veers off on it's own. So if you see something that doesn't fit into the continuity of the books from 5 and up, please don't yell at me! (puppy eyes)
That being said, I hope you enjoy this tale. (My style has improved in later chapters that I will be posting within the next week, these first chapters are 3 years old)
Disclaimer: I don't own Pendragon. (duh) But damn do I wish I did. (ogles Spader) DJ MacHale is a helluva writer, and I worship his style. (bows before DJ)
Rating is T for future language, violence, implied sex (and some actual sex), and all over action/adventure drama-ness. Also there will be implied homosexual tensions and such, but not too much and not till the very end, which is a looooooong way off, so yeah.
Reviews are nice, but you don't have to. I won't hold chapters hostage or anything, so if you wanna, great, if not, no big deal.
Without further ado, let the story commence!
EDIT: Hello again guys. You may have noticed if you're a follower of the story that things are different, and that the chapters are moved around - this is due to mass edits to the story and combining of chapter parts that were originally longer. I hope this makes it easier to follow and adds better flow.
EDIT 2: Hello yet again! To those just joining in, and to those who've read before, chapters 1 – 3 are now fully updated to their most recent version! YAY! This will clear up some of the crappy writing, some of the little plot holes I need to fill, and hopefully make for a much better story in the long run. (Chapters 10-13 just waiting to be edited. Ugh. I can barely stand to look at these early chapters – I'm so ashamed!) Anyway, enjoy the edits, and let me know what you think!
Prologue: Demon Rising part 1
There comes a time in life when we are either made into heroes, or broken into villains. There are bonds that we make and hearts that we break, and there are things that make us both human and something less than. Even the strongest heart can be pushed too far, and those poised to be the greatest heroes become the darkest of villains.
These thoughts never plagued Daniel Aubrey Ravencroft. He was a happy man with a good life. He was a captain in the Council Guard, renowned for his sword-work and known as the Blade Saint for his skill. He had a beautiful wife and a sweet baby girl. His best friend and Traveling partner Press Tilton was like a brother to him. And together, they had managed to keep Halla in a tentative peace for the past eleven years. Daniel was beloved by the people of his homeland, and was known for his kindness and his strong sense of honor, loyalty, and justice. He had everything he could have hoped for.
Yes, life for the twenty-five-year old Daniel was wonderful.
It was this thought that he awoke to on a peaceful Harvest morning on his home territory of Neeanyah. The sun was shining through the soft white curtains in his bed chamber, illuminating the figure of his still-sleeping wife, Eidra. He smiled at the angelic glow the sunlight cast over her, noting how beautiful she was when she slept. He planted a kiss on her forehead and sat up. Daniel pushed his shoulder-length black hair out of his eyes, which were a piercing blue. After stretching his arms over his head, he arose and gracefully slipped out of the room.
As he made his way through the halls of his manor, he hummed softly to himself. He looked forward to spending a peaceful day with his family and his best friend. Perhaps they'd go down to the lake, or spend some time in the woods.
Whatever they decided to do with their time, Daniel was certain that it would be a wonderful day.
Eidra Ravencroft rolled over in bed, and went to lay a hand on her husband's shoulder. Instead, her hand brushed against the sheets, which were cool to the touch, indicating that he had been gone for some time. The beautiful blonde sat up, golden eyes searching the room. When she did not see her husband, she rose and left the room. Eidra walked down the hall to the nursery, where her one-year-old daughter was just stirring.
Baby Chastity, or Chase as she was called, had become the joy of the young couple's life. It was Daniel who had named her, somewhat jokingly, with the hopes that she would grow up to be like her namesake.
Press, the child's godfather, agreed with Daniel's choice and his hopes for the girl, knowing that one day, as the new Traveler of Neeanyah, Chase would meet boys from many different worlds.
"Good morning, my little princess!" Eidra cooed down at the child, bright smile on her face. Chase smiled with recognition of her mother. Eidra scooped her daughter into her arms and lovingly nuzzled the infant's stomach. Chase giggled in her mother's arms. She looked almost exactly like Daniel, with wisps of jet black hair covering her head and the same rare-shaded blue eyes that seemed to study everything.
Child in arms, Eidra left the nursery and went to the main staircase. It was here that she noticed Daniel walking around the entrance hall on the first floor below.
"Danny!" she called out from the second floor.
Daniel looked up at her, grinning. "Good morning."
"Good morning!" Eidra smiled broadly, and walked down the stairs into her husband's embrace. Daniel held his wife gently so as not to hurt the baby between them.
He then looked to his child. "Good morning to you too, Chase. How's daddy's little angel?" He cooed, tenderly running a finger down the side of his daughter's face.
Daniel loved his child dearly, and knew she would one day make a fine Traveler. She was set to inherit her mother's magic and his Amorphara abilities. Daniel looked forward to teaching Chase how to use her transformation powers to help the people of Halla.
Eidra remembered something. "Isn't Press coming today?"
Daniel nodded just as the front doors swung open.
"Good morning, folks! The Wild Man himself has arrived!" A man with light brown hair in a ponytail to his shoulders and light brown eyes strode into the hall where Eidra and Daniel stood, looking for all the world like a rock star taking the stage.
"Good morning, Press." Eidra said with a laugh.
"Good morning Eidra, lovely as ever, I see!" Press winked.
"Press, stop hitting on my wife." Daniel said with mild annoyance.
Press gaped at him open-mouthed. "Me? Hit on my best friend's wife? I thought you knew me better than that, Danny! You wound me!"
The three of them laughed as Press strode forward to embrace them both. "And how is my goddaughter today?" Press asked, leaning forward. Chase giggled when she saw his face, and reached for Press' long hair, which now hung over his shoulder.
Press allowed her to tug on it, and turned to Daniel. "Alright, Danny. I hate to break this to you, since we're supposed to be focusing on relaxing right now, but something's come up. There's some trouble stirring up on First Earth. A few gangsters from the East Side are getting a little too friendly with a West Side mafia princess. We need to go make sure it's going according to the history of the Earth timeline, or it could end up really, really bad in the end."
Daniel rolled his eyes. "Press, can't it wait? There's a whole score of other Travelers for goodness' sake! What about sending Osa or Jo to check in on it? Why us? Does the Covenant want us to keel over?"
"Because the others had to deal with things on their own territories, and we're the only ones who have enough experience with the Earth territories to handle it on our own. Can you imagine sending Jo to First Earth by himself? With the women there? Married or not, the man is still a Spader. Last thing we need is him arrested or in a fight with a sailor for flirting with the wrong girl."
Daniel was not happy – though he did admit that Jo likely would run into some kind of trouble for getting too friendly with another woman. How his wife Ki put up with him, the others never knew. Even with his young son toddling around, Jo was a pistol.
"I really, really wanted more time to rest, Press."
"I know, Danny. I really want more time to relax too. My nephew's turning four in a few days, and my sister's pregnant again so there's a baby shower coming up soon...but we have to do this. There's no one else who can." Press eased his hair out of Chase's grip and stood. "It'll only be a few days, bro. Come on, please?"
"Oh, alright..." Daniel sighed, slumping his shoulders in defeat. He never could tell Press no once he gave him that pouty face.
He turned to his wife. "Goodbye sweetie. I love you, and I'll see you soon." he kissed Eidra softly, then took Chase from her arms. "And goodbye to you, my little angel." He nuzzled the infant's stomach as her mother had done, and handed her back.
Chase began to cry when her father turned away from her. In later years, Press would take this as an ominous sign, but today he thought nothing of it as he and his Traveling partner turned to leave the manor.
"Wait!" Eidra called out.
"Miss us already?" Press teased.
"No. But my husband is still in his night clothes."
There was a pause as the two men glanced at one another. Then, Press burst out laughing. "You may want to change, buddy."
Daniel shot a look of annoyance to his friend. "Yes, I suppose I may." He rolled his eyes before closing them, and was surrounded by a silvery-blue light seconds later. The light seemed to shift into a mist, and suddenly, there was a twisting of light and fluid surrounding him. It lasted for a few moments, till it disappeared in a wisp.
He now stood in a plain black dress shirt and slacks, long hair neatly combed and in a high ponytail that rested over his shoulder. "There. All done." He looked down, and noticed he forgot shoes. "Dammit." He shifted once more, and now wore black boots.
Press smiled a little uneasily, fighting a shudder at the sight. "No matter how many times I see you do that, it still creeps me out a little…"
"After twelve years? You must have a weaker stomach that you realized." Daniel teased as he and Press left the house.
Eidra watched the two men in her life - her husband and her best friend - walk off into the beautiful morning, still bickering playfully about the strength – or weakness – of Press' stomach. With a smile, she closed the front door and walked back upstairs.
Eidra entered the music room upstairs and set Chase down to let her crawl on the floor. The young mother began to pluck idly at her harp, coaxing forth a sweet, sad melody without effort. She continued to play for about an hour, when a sharp pain quickly shot through her side.
Suddenly, her vision blurred. An image of fire and death tore through her mind, and she felt that something terrible was about to happen.
She drew in a sharp breath. Her powers were warning her to a coming danger. Quickly, she picked up Chase and ran down the stairs. Calling upon her aural powers, she cast her mental probe outside the walls of the manor. She could sense a crowd of people, all of whom moved with intent to kill.
Fearfully, she rushed to the armory. She moved without thought, striding across the room and opening the secret door in the wall behind the family coat of arms. Eidra placed her daughter in the small space.
"I love you, Chase." she whispered. The infant yawned, and curled into a ball in the small room. Eidra left the door slightly ajar as her baby began to sleep, then locked the armory and rushed to the front doors.
She then heard a loud commotion from outside. Drawing a deep breath, she moved to the doors and opened them. What she saw took her breath away. A large crowd was now gathered in the garden of the manor, many of them were carrying weaponry. They all looked angered, and were radiating an aura of violent intent.
Eidra stood straight and proud. "People of Neeanyah, my dear countrymen! Why do you gather before my home with such animosity?"
A man from the crowd roared back. "You have betrayed our people, Eidra! You have used your powers for wickedness, damned us! We come for justice for the city of Rillora and the country of Neeanyah!"
The others cheered the man's words.
Eidra was deeply confused. As she began to form her reply, another woman stepped forward from within the crowd.
The people now hushed. This woman seemed to be the polar opposite of Eidra. She had long dark hair to her waist, and green eyes that shone like venomous emeralds. She wore a dark dressing gown which left little to the imagination and carried a staff.
Eidra narrowed her eyes. "Shara...I should have known you would be behind this. What do you want with me now?"
Shara and Eidra had been rivals since girlhood. From an early age, years before Eidra's marriage to Daniel, Shara had done everything in her power to lead Daniel astray. However, Daniel loved Eidra far too much to ever fall for Shara's schemes, and had never once left her side. In the face of this rejection, the enchantress grew ever more bitter.
"I come to end your treachery against our people. There is substantial evidence that you have been using your powers to sway the council and the king and queen to favor your family. I am here to show these people justice! This is for our home! This is for Neeanyah!" Shara cried out, swaying the crowd.
Eidra could not believe that the people she and her husband fought so hard for would believe such vile lies. She stood still, and felt the energy of the crowd. Though she was powerful, Eidra was not a warrior like her husband. She knew that if she fought, she ran the risk of her home being destroyed, and her infant daughter being killed.
As a mother, it was an easy choice to make. Her daughter meant everything to her. Eidra had made her decision – it was her time to die.
Without a word, the witch gathered all her power, both emotionally and magically, and willed it to her sleeping daughter. The tremendous power left Eidra's body, filling her child and changing her own powers and form. Eidra knew that something had changed within her daughter, but no longer had the power to reach out and feel what precisely had changed. Her senses were growing weak, along with her body as she struggled to stand.
Shara sensed that her prey was weak. "Have you any last words?"
Eidra wavered where she stood, and stared into Shara's eyes. "This is not over. So long as my blood remains, balance will be brought. That is the way it was meant to be." Eidra now closed her eyes.
Shara laughed triumphantly. "Goodbye, Eidra."
With a cackle, Shara threw out her hand, and a brilliant flash of blue light erupted from her fingertips.
Pain beyond imagining gripped Eidra's body as the blue light surrounded her and began to twist her thin frame. Lightning crackled and fizzed from the blue light; moments later, rays of golden energy clashed with the blue and white. Eidra fought hard not to scream, and watched as the crowd began to destroy her home while Shara held her at bay. The magic twisted around her, suffocating her and battering her body.
After what seemed an eternity of sheer agony, it was over. With a final push, Shara sent Eidra flying into the now-smoldering rubble that had been her home just moments before. With one heavy, shuddering cough, Eidra laid still and silent on the dusty ground.
Shara meanwhile continued to laugh as Eidra began to fade.
As she laid bleeding and gasping, Eidra formed her final thoughts. "Oh Danny... remember, you're a good person...I love you so...Oh Press...Chase...I love you... Danny...please, walk with...the...light..." And with one last cough, Eidra Ravencroft closed her eyes, and the flame that was her life was extinguished.
Daniel and Press had just stepped out of the flume on First Earth, when Daniel let out a cry of pain. He fell to his knees, clutching his head.
"Danny! What's wrong?" Press asked, rushing to his friend's side. Suddenly, Press felt the same sharp pain, and something in him knew what was wrong: Eidra was in trouble.
"My wife is in danger!" Daniel cried out. He moved to stand, when another flash of pain sent him sprawling on the ground.
"Danny, don't move!" Press ordered, fighting through his own pain and trying to help his best friend. A violent surge of power ripped through both of them, hindering their movements. They waited as the surge subsided, then disappeared completely.
Daniel suddenly began to shake. "I can't feel her...I can't feel my wife's energy!" he was starting to shake harder now.
Press realized the awful truth a moment later. "Danny...she's gone."
Daniel tried to stand again. "We have to get to her! We have to help her!!" He was wild and frenzied, his eyes crazed.
Press held him down. "Danny, it's too late...she's gone..." his voice broke mid-sentence. Eidra was like a sister to Press, and he was slightly numb at the thought. What could possibly have happened?
Daniel grew still. Neither moved for what seemed like ages. Finally, Press leaned back and cleared his throat to speak.
"You...you took me away from her..." Daniel whispered.
"What?" Press was confused by Daniel's tone.
"You took me away from her...when she needed me...you...you had a hand in this, didn't you!?" Daniel turned, and his eyes were glazed with rage. Something within him had broken, and Press knew it.
"Danny, you aren't thinking straight! I love Eidra; I would never try to hurt her!" Press argued, trying to reach his best friend.
"TRAITOR! I THOUGHT WE WERE BROTHERS, PRESS!" Daniel roared. Power radiated from him as he stood and faced Press. "YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS WITH YOUR OWN BLOOD!"
Press was about to protest, to tell Daniel that grief was driving him mad, but he found he could not breathe. A thin black dragon had formed from a wreath of smoke which Daniel had directed at Press. That coiling black dragon now twisted around Press' throat and began to squeeze. As Press gasped for air, Daniel sent tendrils of darkness toward his friend, each one stabbing the brunette in the chest.
Press was forced to his knees. His vision was blurring. Daniel was laughing maniacally, as Press wondered what the hell was happening. The lead Traveler's vision blurred, and the last image he saw before dropping into blissful unconsciousness was Daniel, mad with his grief, radiating unchecked power, standing before him and laughing.
"Goodbye, Danny..." Press managed to think, fighting to awake.
Daniel walked away as Press faded into unconsciousness. Without another glance or word, he strode to the flume, called out "Neeanyah!" and disappeared in the familiar rush of music and light.
Any questions, comments, flames, or concerns? Shoot me a message or review, I'll happily reply to all.
Till next chapter,