The Chronicles of Valana: Shadowlands
Copyright © 2015, All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2015, All Rights Reserved
This story is 100% fictional (DUH!! :P).
This story will feature sexual scenes between boys and boys, boys and girls of various ages so if it's something you don't like/agree with or it is not legal in your area/country or are not as of yet of legal age to be reading this sort of stuff then don't read any further.
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An offspring of the Fairfolk, of high descent amongst the Fairfolk.
_An offspring of the speakers, highest and first amongst the speakers._
It was one of those days when the glorious sun was shining on the towering urban jungle of midtown Manhattan preventing the sunlight from touching the floor, much like it does on the canopy of the equatorial jungle rainforests.
Marco and Lucas were avoiding the tall buildings of the great city and had wandered into Central Park to find a nice little vendor that served iced fruit flavoured drinks. Ever since Lucas first kissed his best friend on the lips and tasted the sweet fruit juice of strawberry, it had been his flavour of choice from that time on.
Marco chose grape and lemongrass ever since then, which made Lucas wonder if the flavour meant anything to him in a deeper sense. They chatted about school and the weekend, including the trophy Marco had won for completely outclassing his opponents in every class of Archery. Lucas, on the other hand, had no real extracurricular hobbies. He would often watch his best friend win every archery award that stood in his way. Lucas preferred to read books on science and chemistry or he would just wander the city trying to find new nooks and surprises he hadn't noticed before.
Marco drank his grape-lemongrass slushy and looked over at his best friend as he drank his and they talked about any subject they could think of. He thought Lucas was so cute and he loved when they kissed and played together, but even though as pronounced yet he had started seeing girls a different way of late.
When in younger days all girls were "yucky", now his twelve year old mind found some of them, an increasing amount of them, "cute" and he would feel all tingly inside.
They had grown up together ever since Lucas had arrived at NYC at the age of four. They had befriended each other instantly. Marco had dared and made the first sexual exploration move when they were ten and Lucas had responded in kind and he still remembered that first kiss when they were almost ten.
Lucas' mind was on the old Artifacts Museum that was recently demolished not far from where they were drinking their cold refreshments. One of their teachers from their school was outraged that the demolition had no respect for the artifacts housed in the museum that they actually started to tear the place down before they had even finished taking out all the exhibits. Such carelessness was beyond understanding and not all the items were accounted for.
They agreed to go search through the ruins of the museum before they would be all cleared out for the new construction during the weekend.
That night, Marco sat on his window ledge in his pajamas as he had done for the last few months now. He would sit at the end of the ledge and dream of fantasy lands, of exploration, of mighty battles and faraway people with exotic cultures, of all the things that boys dream about at that age but of late, his dreams, awake or asleep, were being plagued by something inconceivable to his young mind. It had been building for some time now, that urge, uncontrollable and unstoppable, like something was beckoning him, was calling out for him. Something he had to do, to achieve and it was vexing him intensely.
Lucas had also been feeling similarly, but his mind worked differently. Less emotion, more logic so he was better equipped to set it aside for prolonged periods of time.
As they lay in their beds sleeping, in their dreams, something they could not understand appeared. A form of a human but not quite human. He was inside a dark place. Some light was penetrating the darkness, but not enough so that they could make out its features. He looked to be no taller than a child, but he carried himself as far more than a child.
The he-form of a child walked outside of a tent, large, much, much larger than what was used by boy scouts on Earth. The rising golden red sun hid its features from them as it rose from within the sea giving it a red hue. He carried himself with an air of a King. Someone learned in authority yet not corrupted by it.
They would only see what he was wearing, but not with great detail. He was wearing pants made from leather, but it seemed to be some kind of refined leather. On top of his pants, he had various armour protections surrounding the knees, ankles and around the femoral joints. On top he wore what looked like silk-woven shirt that was painted red by the blurry dream sun. Again on the joints of the arms and hands he had armour protection as well as some covering his torso. He stood in front of what looked to be a huge army. He looked tall and proud. Then without any hesitation he spoke as everyone fell silent.
"It begins as the lightest of breezes. It dances above the death cries of men and elves. It is moved by need unconquerable and uncontrollable…." The voice fainted and they woke up.
It was the weekend so the construction crew's work had been suspended until Monday. Marco met Lucas on the doorsteps of his house and they set out to go exploring the demolished museum. After all, how often do two twelve year old boys get to go treasure hunting on forbidden ground right on their doorstep?
The metal lattice fence wasn't locked up very securely and Lucas was able to find a way in.
The place was just a mass of rubble with concrete reinforcement bars sticking out the jutting piles of building, but to Lucas, he felt like Indiana Jones and in there somewhere was a jewel he needed to rescue without being seen by the evil-doers of his fantasy plot.
They entered the ruins of the demolished museum, turning over the rubble thinking they will find a treasure from some fantasy land or maybe a king's crown or some other thing.
They messed about at the rubble, turning over what they could and tossing away what artifacts they didn't like and keeping those they liked. Soon enough their pockets were full.
"Bow before your king!" Marco said, wearing a very old looking gold medallion, changing his voice to try and imitate one of the king voices he had heard in one movie or another.
Lucas looked around to him and poked his tongue out at his best friend.
"Stop messing around and let's go before someone finds us," he said and went to Marco.
He touched the medallion to remove it from his friend's neck. Logic said they should not be seen wearing this in public but the moment his fingertips made contact with the medallion, he felt something like a "tag" like vertigo. The demolished building and NYC was pushed out of his field of view. Darkness replaced it and a variety of different colours.
Marco could only see Lucas as they passed through a "tube" of ever-changing colours.
Lucas felt a thud in his chest. 'That wasn't normal, right?' A fleeting thought in his mind. then he was suddenly pulled, or pushed, he couldn't tell, so fast that everything seemed to slip away effortlessly into a psychedelic tube with colours splashing faster than the eye could make out any shapes. It didn't last long. Their feet touched a solid surface. Some ground covered with leaves.
"Marco?" he said, searching for his best friend as he saw tall pine trees shake outwards from their location as if struck by a shock wave.
Marco felt his feet touch the ground and then a multitude of sensations all at once. He felt pain above all else. Such intense pain as he had never felt before, he felt as if his bones, his muscles, his skin, his very soul was being split open and then reforged back into a unified piece. He could hear someone screaming, but it took him a second to recognise that it was actually him who was screaming at the top of his lungs from the pain. If he could have removed the pain, he would have understood that there were an array of other sensations as well. Like longing satiated, like need fulfilled, like a sense of belonging, like so much new potential at his fingertips.
Marco felt himself slip away as his eyes darkened and he fell out of consciousness.
Lucas scrambled to his side and did the first thing any person with some first-aid basic knowledge might do. He poked him in the head.
"Marco? You awake?"
There was no answer.
"Marco?" he asked again then frowned as concern drifted over him. His friend might actually be hurt. He reached for his phone but realised he must have lost it on the journey somewhere. Okay he could do this. He breathed a sigh of relief when he pushed his ear on the boy's nose and felt the boy breathing as a faint exhale of breath tickled him. If he was breathing, that meant his heart was still beating. He also knew that he shouldn't move him in case he had a spinal injury, but it didn't look like anything was sticking out at a funny angle. A head injury would be bad. What if his eyesight was damaged and he couldn't take part in any more archery competitions or he was brain damaged and had amnesia?!
Lucas pushed the negative thoughts aside and cradled the boy's head and brushed his blond hair out of his eyes. There was a bit of blood but he might be okay once he woke up and once he woke up they could figure out why they are in a forest.
Marco's eyes opened and he looked into Lucas's.
"We had a little tumble," Lucas explained.
Marco's eyes focused. He got up on his knees and kissed Lucas on his lips as he hugged him close.
"That hurt!! What happened? Where are we? Forest? There are no forests in Manhattan!" he spoke and looked around as he got up and dusted himself. He helped Lucas up.
They started looking around dazed. Marco was about to say something when he heard someone yell behind him.
He turned on his feet and saw a towering bull of a man in chainmail armour…wait CHAINMAIL ARMOUR? Come against them with a hand raised above his head.
Marco raised his eyes and saw a sword clutched on that raised hand. Something deep inside Marco told him that this was no toy, that this was a very much real and very much lethal sword and that this man for whatever reason wanted to kill him or them. He heard Lucas whimper next to him and the man speak some unknown language.
He didn't allow a moment for thought. He had no weapon. He had nothing with which to defend himself and Lucas. He placed a hand on Lucas' shoulder and brought him behind him protectively. He didn't know why or how he knew what to do or even what he did, but he extended his hand and thought of one word.
"SALATH!!" he screamed a word without any meaning to him and a powerful gust of wind came out of his hand. His t-shirt, shorts and hair flapped in the wind as the man was thrown backwards violently and hit the trunk of a huge tree. The man fell unconscious. The sword flew from his hand, falling a few meters away.
He looked at his hand, amazed and scared at what had just happened and then at Lucas' face.
He grabbed his friend's hand and started running. They ran until they could no longer run and stopped to catch their breath. Marco looked around, listening for noises on the forest and looking for any more men.
"What the fuck just happened!!" he asked Lucas.
Lucas breathed deeply, regaining his breath.
"Well, a man in chainmail walked up to us asked us what evil magic we practice, you shouted something about wind, he went flying backwards and hit the tree which said 'ouch'," Lucas recounted the last few moments.
"Trees don't say ouch, or even talk, do they?" He thought he might be going slightly mad and rubbing at his sides which were starting to sting a bit.
He tried to recount their actions. Slushie, sleep, breakfast, meet with Marco, go to museum, Medallion, poof, forest, trees, man in armour trying to kill them, running. Yes, he thought. He had gone completely mad yet this place smelled real and it even felt real. The place felt alive like it was seeping into him, his thoughts untangling and some sense was coming into him.
He told himself to accept the reality no matter how strange it was. He was in a forest, an unknown forest with no obvious sign of exit. The sun was low in the sky so it was either late afternoon or morning, hard to tell without a compass, he never even wore a watch since his phone always told him the time. No good going back for that now as the place was probably swarming with chain mailed men but the most alarming thing was Marco's sudden use of his superpowers. As far as Lucas was aware, Marco didn't have superpowers. He knew this because they didn't exist. Not until now anyway.
"So go on?" he asked his friend. "Explain you going all mysterious and blowing that guy into that tree."
Marco was speechless. His mouth opened and closed several times but no intelligible sound came from it and It took him a few minutes to gather his thoughts and make sense of what was going on. He could feel knowledge of unknown origins and use flood his mind and enhance his senses.
He shook his head and rubbed his eyes before talking to Lucas who looked scared of him as well as of everything that had happened.
"I have no idea what just happened…I mean one moment we are in Manhattan and then next…here….Where is here? Are we even on Earth? Who was that man? What language did he speak? I didn't understand a word of it! Superpowers? I don't have superpowers! I don't know what I did! That word just popped in my mind but I have no bloody idea of what it means or what happens…. I am the same Marco you knew back home…I think…WAIT!!!" It just clicked to him just then. "How can you understand that man? You have never so far had any other foreign language at school or outside it!!!! And what is that about the tree speaking!! Trees don't speak do they??!?!?! What is going on here?!" He was scared himself.
All through Marco's understandably anxious mumblings, Lucas thought about what this might mean for him. Sure he was probably miles away from home and maybe he would never get home. It was possible that they had gone back in time, but if they had they would have to change location as Manhattan Island in the Middle Ages was just forest, which matched the scene here, but there were certainly no knights about, as knights were all from Europe. America was all natives back then.
He wondered if he could actually live in the medieval times, assuming he couldn't go back to modern day times. He practically lived outdoors and the only thing that would be a pain would be to grow his own food and do the laundry. He could make a living. He could even show them a thing or two about chemistry.
He only had the thought of a bloke in chainmail to reinforce his theory. He might have just been a part of a re-enactment group and Marco had just... just what? Pushed him across the ground telekinetically?
Marco looked about the forest around them.
"The birds are tweeting, waking up. The forest's sounds are increased and there are fewer predatory animal sounds and the flowers all smell more from the morning sun…It just dawned…Wait how do I know all that!?!?! How can I smell all that and hear the birds like they are next to me?!" he thought, his young mind overwhelmed by all the new and sudden information.
His skin looked…different somehow to him but not by much. He ignored it.
He looked from Lucas' face to everywhere around him as if the forest would surrender to him clues of what was happening to them.
"Anyways we can figure all that out once we find some civilization…." He took his cell phone out of his pocket and some of the artifacts he had gathered fell to the ground with clinking noises. "Bloody hell it is broken…just bought that!!!"
He threw the phone on the ground frustrated.
"We better start walking until we find a road or city or something," Marco said, looking at the tree-covered horizon.
He started walking the other way from where they had come, leaving the rising sun behind them.
They walked in silence for the most part until the sun started setting in front of them. They were still inside the forest. Marco found a huge tree that was hollow on the inside.
"We better sleep here tonight…we don't know what meat eating animals there are in the forest." He gathered some fallen, dried branches from around the hollow tree and placed them on the entrance with them inside the tree but they had nothing with which to light a fire.
"What if…," he mumbled.
He circled his hands around the pile of the branches, closed his eyes and tried to concentrate. After a few moments a word formed deep in his mind.
"Vorag," he whispered. Some sparks appeared from his hands, but nothing more happened. He repeated the word with increasing concentration until the branches flared up aflame.
He looked at Lucas who was sitting cross-legged near him. He curled up into a ball and was asleep almost instantly. He was exhausted.
Lucas was deep in thoughts. Some things didn't make sense, like why Marco was chanting 'ignite' at a pile of twigs. The eerie thing about it was that Marco wasn't actually saying 'ignite', but he just knew it. Like when his French teacher comes up to him and says Bonjour, he knows she is saying 'hello' or more accurately, 'Good Day'.
When the fire crackled into life, Lucas, for some reason wasn't surprised which surprised him. Why did this feel so normal? He wondered.
If they were staying here for the night they would need some water at least. He looked about the tree hollow as Marco drifted off to sleep. Marco seemed to be affected more by being here than he did, so it was up to him to make their life comfortable. He climbed out of the tree hollow and took a look about in the fading light. He closed his eyes and saw if he could recall the tree positions. He could. He picked up a small rock with a pointy end in it and smacked it against a nearby tree, knocking the bark off it. Good, he could mark his route with this.
He started walking, etching his route into the trees. The last thing he wanted right now was to lose their campground.
An hour later it was nearly fully dark and he was starting to get a bit jumpy at the completely unfamiliar and downright strange sounds of the forest.
"That's the wrong way, child," a female voice spoke to him.
After having the fright of his life, he looked about and saw no one. He was scared now, the voice felt so near.
"You need to go down the hill a bit more," the voice said.
Lucas spun around, trying to seek the origin of the voice.
"Who said that?" he said aloud.
"Me, dear," the voice said, "right in front of you."
"Behind the tree?" he asked.
It chuckled. "I am the tree, my child."
The voice was soft, and then he realised that there was no voice, just a speech in his head.
"The tree?" he confirmed.
"Yes, dear," Came the response.
"Oh." He nodded. "I thought I was going mad then."
"Not many can speak to us, but you seem quite nice. I could tell you were a speaker," the tree said.
Lucas chuckled slightly. "Oh right, yeah, a speaker. What's that?"
The tree simpered. "Oh, innocent child. You have the gift of life-speech. You can talk to the creatures and the wilds."
"Oh cool," he said passively.
"Do you need warmth?"
He realised his own words were perhaps strange to a talking tree.
"Sorry, slang expression it means 'very good'. I was actually after a water source and perhaps some food. We're sleeping in a hollow tree up that way." He pointed back the way they came.
"Yes the trees have mentioned you were hitting them with rocks." She said softly.
He dropped the stones. "Uh...," he faltered. "Sorry, I wasn't aware trees have feelings."
The tree was silent for a moment.
"We understand. We weren't aware you could hear us until I spoke to you."
He nodded. "I'll take more care, but what about things I eat, will they be talking to me?" He imagined himself eating carrot soup and the carrots all screaming in their juices drowning and pleading for their lives.
"We also understand that we provide nourishment to all the people and creatures of the Valana," the tree said. "To give one's life to save another is what we do. But you should speak with Nohbard. He can help you with what you need."
"Who...." He was about to ask who Nohbard was but a tree tapped him on the shoulder. He turned and saw what looked like a huge oak tree staring down at him.
"Hello there little one," the oak tree said. Actually said. This time the tree spoke out loud, not into his head.
"Hello, Nohbard," he replied politely, but felt like he was about to faint.
"I've been watching you; you have set up camp inside my cousin." The voice was old and wizened. "Your friend will be safe there; I have placed fresh water at the entrance together with some berries and Elven wildgrass. The wildlife will not touch your food, they will respect it."
They walked in almost silence as they got back to the Nohbard's deceased cousin where Marco was sleeping. It was a bit morbid sleeping inside a dead creature, but Nohbard said it was just wood, like a house. A spiritless husk, perfect for shelter and Whitbard would have liked being useful even after his death.
Nohbard sunk his roots into the floor outside the tree hollow and Lucas crawled into the tree hollow and curled up next to his best friend and drifted off to sleep.
Marco woke up and for a single second he thought he was about to get ready to go to school but then it hit him, all the events of the previous day and night. It wasn't a dream!
He groaned softly and got up. His stomach rumbled and he realised that he had not eaten since the previous breakfast. He got out of the hollow and looked around. It was still very early. The sun had barely gone off the horizon. He stretched and looked at the sleeping form of Lucas. He felt famished but he also felt…hot…horny…hornier than usual which was difficult as he was entering puberty. He looked Lucas up and down feeling like he wanted to kiss and lick him up and down. That was not unusual either but…but…he looked away and re-arranged his cloth-covered package.
"What to eat?" he said aloud as he scratched his hair.
"There is Elven wildgrass and berries in front of you young Nailal."
Marco jumped with a start. It wasn't Lucas' voice but an older sounding voice. It was as if he had listened to leaves being blown by air. Peaceful and ancient.
"Who…who said that?"
"In front of you young Nailal! I am Nohbard. I am the tree in front of you."
Marco looked at the tree and saw something resembling a face at the center of the trunk with lips-like moving as the…tree spoke. Somehow it didn't surprise him all that much. He had been startled more than surprised.
"Ehmmm….hi…hello…I am Marco and…and…thank you, I will eat that…wish I had cereal with milk…"
"What is cereal young Nailal?"
"Something we eat where I come from…what is a Nailal?"
"What you are."
"Uhhh…okay…I guess…." Marco frowned at the tree. 'Maybe it is the word "Human" in tree language….' He thought.
He sat down and ate some of the berries and Elven wildgrass.
"That tastes great! It is so sweet!" Marco said to the tree as he ate the wildgrass.
He heard Lucas groan in his sleep and clutch his sides. It only lasted a second or two, but Marco was worried for his friend. Maybe he had broken a rib last day when he fell from the tree.
He rushed to Lucas and raised his t-shirt some. He saw some weird looking tattoos there but then he saw Lucas look up at him and smile.
"Hey, hullo, didn't know you had tattoos done on your sides mate! Did you know that here…wherever here is the trees talk and wildgrass tastes like…like grapes? You look great!!" He looked over at Lucas wanting to kiss him tongue and all but he did not yet, didn't know if Lucas was in a mood for that yet.
Lucas heard Marco speak to him as he woke up.
"Huh?" he replied and then realised his shirt was open. He had a number of stripes and designs on his skin that looked almost Celtic in design. "Okay, what else is going to happen...?" he said with a sigh. What else is this strange place going to throw at him? If it's not talking trees or his best friend blowing wind from his hands or setting fire to things, it's stripes on his body and pointy ears on his friend.
Pointy ears. That was new.
"Your ears are pointy," he said looking at Marco's head.
"Pointy ears?" he said out loud and his hands went for his ears. They were indeed longer and pointier than back on Earth.
He looked outside at the place where Nohbard had rooted.
"Oh you met Nohbard. He gave us food and I think there is a stream nearby, too. He sleeps during the day so best leave him alone while he sleeps," he said, standing up. "Sheesh, sleeping on the ground is tough work," he added, massaging the crick out of his neck.
So it was clear enough that they were not in Manhattan anymore. Or maybe even on Earth. Both boys were changing into...something. Logic should dictate that the boys would turn into the same thing, but for some reason they were getting a different set of skills. Why? Who knew?
Lucas hoped there were not just trees and bushes to talk to, but wanted some real people to converse with. Sure Marco was great, but he needed more people. People who lived here and he could get a map from, or find out where this medallion or pendant came from and how they might be able to use it to get back.
He stooped down and ate some of the sweet grass. It wasn't bad, but he could murder a round of toast right now. At least there was a high chance of finding grain and making flour. He could still enjoy toast if they had to settle down here for a while. Perhaps, even use some of his chemistry skills to make a living with some of the locals if they ever found any. Excluding the guy in armour who seemed a bit pissed that he had seen them mysteriously appear in the woods. He felt sorry for him in a way. The guy must have been freaked out seeing two kids drop out of nothing.
The problem then was if the man had been from the local town. There might now be a lynch mob after them. Not good. If he was from an army invading the local town then they might be stuck in the middle of a bloody war. Either way, they would need to set themselves a peaceful foundation with the native people.
"Shouldn't we be moving? Finding some locals or someone who can get us back home?" he asked.
Marco was deep in thought for a while when he heard Lucas asking him if they should move on.
"Yeah we should…let us continue going westwards." He got up and extended his hand to Lucas to help him up, but the boy got on his knees and hands and got up on his own.
"How do you know where is west?" Lucas asked almost irritated.
"Opposite way of the sun's rise," Marco answered and started walking.
Since when do you speak like that?" Lucas asked as he started walking.
Marco didn't even hear him as he listened for the forest, the creatures living here and there, and all the other sounds and smells as he subconsciously explored his sensations. They had definitely become more acute, heightened since their arrival to this place.
They walked for hours until it was dark again. They slept, woke up and continued walking until they found a lake. They were tired and exhausted and they needed to find some signs of civilization soon enough or water and wildgrass would not be entirely sufficient as a diet and they had no weapons or tools with which to hunt animals or defend themselves if needed.
The sun was high on top of them. It was midday.
He drank some water from the lake and looked over to its opposite end. There was something there, but he couldn't make out what it was exactly. He squinted his eyes and tried to focus to that object not because he knew what he was doing or what the result would be, but more like when you can't see something clearly and you try to squint your eyes and focus on it thinking it might help out.
He saw a few buildings and some smoke. He looked at Lucas.
"There is a small settlement over there." He pointed towards the other edge of the lake's shore.
"I can't see anything…," Lucas said with a tired look on his face.
"What do you mean?" He looked over and he saw the lake but no buildings, "But…but…." Then he focused without realising it and he understood it.
"Oh…my senses are being enhanced as well…what else is going to happen to me…us in this place??" he mumbled.
They walked to the settlement. They reached it as the sun set over the horizon. To say they were exhausted would be an understatement of epic proportions.
"Lucas…you seem to understand the languages of this place…lead the way we need a hotel and a place to eat."
"Yes," Lucas said, also very tired.
They entered the settlement. Lucas started talking to whatever people he could find. People talked to him cautiously. It was strange, he thought, even in this land for two unknown children to be about without their parents. Lucas seemed to be struggling with understanding the language, but he made sense of what they said and he was getting better with each new person he talked to. Everyone they saw seemed to look at him strangely for a few seconds which seemed strange to Marco as he was a human boy…wasn't he?
Eventually they reached a building with a large glass as a sign. 'A restaurant or whatever they call it here,' Marco thought.
They entered, sat at a table by themselves and Lucas spoke to a man and a few minutes later two dishes with food arrived along with some water.
They wolfed down the food quicker than it had arrived at their table and burped. They giggled.
"Come with me," Lucas said and got up from the table. Marco followed him. They climbed some stairs and entered a room with two beds and a night stand. Marco locked the door.
"Tomorrow morning we…you need to find out where we are…what year it is…and what is happening to us…what is this stuff I can do…."
Lucas gave him a meek smile and removed his clothes except his underwear, got under the covers and was asleep in seconds.
Marco sighed and got undressed as well and lay on the bed.
He felt alone not just because Lucas seemed to be distant but because…he couldn't explain it exactly but the nights he slept in the forest it felt like…home, the forest noises, the trees, the starry sky…it felt good. Here, it felt…empty…void…he couldn't understand any of it, what was happening to him, to them. If he was human, why were the villagers looking weird at him and he was feeling like he was now? He drifted off to sleep lost in thoughts.
End of chapter 1. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it and that you felt what
I felt while writing it.
This is more like a prologue of sorts, setting the stage for what is to come, stay with me and our characters as we embark upon this new journey.
Send your comments, critique, feedback and correspondence to the email addy at the beginning. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it and that you felt what I felt while writing it.