She watched the sun slowly descend into the high mountails of Malain. The light cast a glow onto her blood red curls, though she was so deep in thought, she didn't notice.
Her name is Ayvana and she was a bard. She made her living from singing. Here, the capital city of Mauve was her home though she lived in the wooded areas where it was safer.
Maeve was the home of Sovann, the sorceress. Sovann ruled harshly and permitted no form of magic, but her own. Ayvana was born with magic in her voice and now she was revealed to Sovann. Sovann wanted her to sing for her son's homecoming.
The banquet was set for tonight. Stian, her son, returned home from his father's land--the Far distant northern land of Avelan. Ayvana had no choice but to go.
The light faded into darkness and the stars shone. There was no moon tonight. Ayvana looked at Jennis, her ally. Jennis rarely spoke--most unicorns didn't speak at all. Ayvana smiled as she gently stroked the unicorn's mane--pure white.
"Well, Jen, I must leave now,"
Jennis nuzzled Ayvana gently.
"I will be of care, I promise," Ayvana said softly knowing that Sovann would find her magic even if she didn't use it. Her green eyes locked with the unicorn's gold ones.
Sovann was beautiful in her gold gown and long pale hair. Her eyes were as blue as the Isadir waters and smile was sweet. She was proud that Stian was turning into a sorcerer just like her. He is home now, having finished learning his skills from his father. She was even more proud that Stian looked exactly like her.
"Mathair, how good it is to be home," he smiled at his young mother.
"I have a bard singing for you. She is known throughout the city. Her name is Ayvana,"
"Mathair, none can sing as lovely as you,"
"She can, I hear. I must hear her," Sovann's sweet voice turned ice cold.
"Don't be jealous. I am sure that the commoner Ayvana's voice is a scratch on ice compared to your, Mathair,"
"None can outdo their queen," Sovann said silkily.
Ayvana, dressed in a deep green gown with her hair gently tied back, was nervous as she entered the palace. She only planned to sing one song-- as was required.
She saw the Sorceress watching her. Ayvana shivered under her gaze and smiled shyly. Sovann smiled back and walked toward her.
"My dear, Ayvana, welcome to my home," she said in a mesmerizing voice.
"Thank you, Mistress Sovann,"
"What do you intend to sing? You must sing for me first as a courtesy,"
Ayvana smiled and her eyes lit up.
"I am singing about the dawn rising in the east and how the mists seem to magically lift when the sun's golden light gently touches it,"
"What a lovely description. I see you have magic," Sovann's voice turned ice cold.
"Do not lie child, I may spare your life. Tell me how you came about it!"
"I was born with it,"
"It is in your voice,"
"Yes, but I don't use it when I sing,"
"Not even when you are alone?"
"Only when I am alone. I don't use magic to make my money. I value my life,"
"Show me then. Sing for me,"
Ayvana sang the song. When she was finished, Sovann simply stared at her with those icy eyes.
"Very good, Ayvana. You are as talanted as they say you are,"
"Thank you, Mistress,"
"Now, come and enjoy the feast. Stian, my son, be your partner,"
Stian looked exactly like his mother, Ayvana thought. His smile was warmer than her, though.
"Ayvana, Mathair speaks of you quite often,"
"Stian, show Ayvana around. Let her mingle with my guests. She has a beautiful voice and I want her treated as royalty tonight,"
As soon as they were alone, Stian smiled at Ayvana and whispered in her ear, "I want to talk to you alone,"
He guided her around and people stared. Who was this commoner on the arm of Sorcerer Stian?
He took her aside and finally spoke.
"Mathair intends to kill you. I have a cloak that will protect you from her eyes, but you must go quickly as soon as you are finished singing. I will help you,"
"How shall I return the cloak?"
"I will find you, Ayvana, and be safe,"