A special story in the lore of Azuria, as told by Emelyee Amastacia to Dorric Themear
True love wears many forms. Its longevity varies. But every once in a while, as with Sylris and Aurora, it lasts an age and founds a kingdom.
This story is an excerpt from Aurora, the prequel novella for the Age of Azuria high fantasy series. Purchase the novel direct from the author here!
The Forbidden Love of Sylris and Aurora
There was once a beautiful princess who lived at an enchanting estate nestled perfectly between the forest and the sea.
Her doting mother and father had settled to the north and were fashioning a castle for themselves and their future subjects around the foundation of an ancient fortress. As much as they appreciated their first home, it was no place to found a kingdom.
The princess spent most of her time in the woods around the estate, and each evening, she walked through the trees, returning after dark. The area was safe and well protected, so her parents had little fear of something happening to her.
But the princess had a secret.
At the edge of her family’s estate was a sacred stone courtyard. There, the princess would meet her lover, Sylris, each afternoon she was able, and at times, when the two couldn’t bear to be apart, in the earliest hours of the morning, when the rest of her household was asleep.
Her parents knew nothing of their daughter’s relationship with the elf. They believed that she simply had a great affinity for the outdoors, as was common for women of noble blood at the time. While their daughter was gallivanting through the forest—they thought, alone—they dedicated themselves to the kingdom’s future. As we all know, an essential aspect of kingdom establishment is ensuring proper lineage. The king and queen interviewed a long line of suitors and visited them and their families. Eventually, they settled on one of the young princes of Hadvar, their neighbor to the north.
This news distressed the princess greatly. She threatened to flee the kingdom forever if her parents would not relent.
It was already too late. The Hadvarian prince and his soldiers made their way south, past the new castle, to the family’s estate. He promised the king and queen to woo their daughter and bring her back with him to the new capital, where they would be wed.
Like any true heroine, the princess had not been idle during this time. She and Sylris planned to run away together, hoping they might find shelter in a community beyond the boundaries of Caldara where no one knew them. But the princess was afraid. She loved her home, the forest and the ocean she’d known all her life. They were part of her, and she feared that if she left, she would surrender a core part of herself.
In this regard, the princess’s choice of partner was a blessing. Sylris also treasured these woods, loving them all the more for bringing him together with his love. On the night the two were to meet and run away together, the elf and his companions transformed the courtyard into a woodland temple so that they might be married before they left, forever binding part of themselves with the forest they so cherished.
The princess sneaked out of the castle, moving silently along the forest path. Unbeknownst to her, the prince had commanded his guards to follow her and find out where she went each night. Several days prior, they had discovered the lovers and reported the news back to their sovereign. Enraged by this betrayal, the Hadvarian prince ordered that the elf and his companions be killed.
The prince’s commander was a dutiful man. It grieved him to treat the beautiful princess and her beloved so cruelly, and he had begged the prince to reconsider, to speak with her first before executing the attack.
The prince refused. He ordered his commander to see it done.
So on this final night, the commander, torn between his conscience and his ruler, decided to allow the couple a single kindness before they were parted forever. He and his men waited until the princess had greeted her elven lover and the two had exchanged a passionate kiss before they swept into the circle, killing everyone except the princess and the man she loved.
Sylris stood guard in front of the princess. He cried out at the loss of his companions and drove back the soldiers, but he was one against many. The troop surrounded the pair, and the commander faced Sylris, both men with swords in hand. “I swear on my life no harm will befall her,” the commander said.
“I’ll not subject myself to such cruelty,” the princess shouted back. She turned her short blade away from the circle of soldiers and toward herself.
This declaration grieved Sylris and the commander, for they knew the world would be a darker place without her in it.
Sylris spun around to face his beloved. He wrapped his fingers around her wrist and begged her to reconsider. Tears poured from his eyes and washed down his face, knowing the burden he was asking her to take on so that she might live.
With the princess’s attention fixed on Sylris, the commander seized his opportunity. He stabbed the elf in the back, ripped out his sword, and spun around to restrain the princess.
Sylris’s last vision was the face of his beloved. The only outward sign that he had passed was a flash of pain and confusion before he began to fall away from her toward the earth’s embrace.
But she was the only one to see, as they carried her away, the final spark of life in his green eyes and his lips whisper, “I love you,” before he grew forever still.
The king and queen watched the princess closely in the days that followed. She returned to her parents and their new castle to be married to the Hadvarian prince. Her spirit seemed broken after Sylris’s death, and she consented to the union.
Early the next year, she gave birth to a beautiful child, named after his true father and the forest where they met. Sylvan.
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Aurora! You can learn more about the novella here!