Chrysalis Wins

by Arkolo


Ch.29 "King Avalanche" part 1

Chrysalis Wins

Ch.29 “King Avalanche”

Deep into the well Chrysalis’s mind dived, and her eyes glowed reflectively with the visions before her. She thought she might as well go to the beginning, and see what changeling started this unique heirloom of their history. Such a changeling must have valuable insights, no? Besides, Shellish never showed her anything that far back, she was always concerned with more contemporary lessons.

Eventually Chrysalis felt a break in the well, she had reached the earliest memories, and she held the well still for a moment. The queen of modern day took a deep breath as she paused for a moment. She cleared her mind of background distractions as she prepared to immerse herself in the experience. Hopefully this first recorded monarch would have something valuable to share. Chrysalis let out the breath she held onto, and activated the well’s first memories.

---

“Hello there, changelings of the future. I am Queen Crafty.”

The first sound to grace Chrysalis’s perked ears was a thickly accented voice, one she couldn’t quite place. A tall figure looked right back at her from the transparency of the well. It was another royal changeling, who was easily head and neck taller than she was, and Chrysalis had to tilt her head up to look her in the eye.

This Queen Crafty possessed the trademark two-toned eyes of royal changelings, hers were rings of silvery grey and blue. She also wore a long olive green mane, and sported some interesting patterns on her spotted chitin. Her horn was long and straight, with a small hook in the top.

The location was outdoors, in the midst of some ruined city. Charcoaled fragments of logs and broken stones lay among of partially standing structures. The exact place where Chrysalis stood was some kind of altar.

“It’s my hope that this well I’ve created will be source of wisdom for the changelings who come after my time. To be a Well of Memories so to speak, and a place of remembrance of for the great deeds that have been done by our kind.”

Crafty continued her little introduction, as Chrysalis continued to observe the surroundings. In the distance a few sentinels could be seen as they roamed over the broken city scape, as well as the other changeling types. They all kept their distance from queen Crafty though, and Chrysalis cocked an eyebrow at that. Suddenly Crafty shouted in a direction away from the altar space.

“Avall! I want you to come over here!”

“What is it?”

A deep resonant voice answered the queen’s call from the other side of a torn structure. Chrysalis just noticed the smoke that steadily rose from that particular building, and she shuddered when she heard that voice, it was piercing and carried like an earthquake. The queen of the past continued her request.

“I want you to come and speak for the records in my well, there is much that future generations can learn from you.”

“Future generations can learn their own damn lessons!”

“AVALL!”

“What?”

“If you want a pleasant evening, you’ll get your giant arse over here!”

There wasn’t so much a reply as a loud grumble after that. A deafening thump came from the smoky building, and a gust of wind radiated out from it. The smoke was blown away, as an enormous shape rose out of the non-existent roof.

The drum of giant insectile wings shook the air as the fearsome figure thundered forward. It was only a small distance from the smoky structure to the altar where the queen stood, and the giant covered it in a moment. He dropped from his lazy hover with a crash, and the stones under his hooves cracked.

Chrysalis blinked, and tried to comprehend the creature in front of her, and that it was indeed a changeling. This specimen was more than twice Chrysalis’s height, and his features added to the overall intimidating appearance. His long fangs hung proudly out of his mouth, while his mane was large, wild, and unkempt, like that of a lion. It was colored a faded shade of white, contrasting sharply with the dark grey tone of his hide. The thick chitin over his form was gnarled and pot marked with scratches. She soon looked up into his fierce gaze, finding his fiery red orange eyes burning with irritation.

A loud crunch interrupted Chrysalis’s roaming eyes and she looked again to see what he was doing. There was a rack of fatty ribs in his mouth, and he slowly took his time to munch them down, bone and all. The queen’s jaw dropped, those ribs looked about the size of full beef racks... He finished soon and spoke with that monstrously deep voice again.

“What do you want me to say? I don’t even know how your well thing works.”

“I’ll show you then.”

Queen Keen flashed her eyes towards Chrysalis’s position, and a small portion of liquid-like substance floated out into the air between the two historic changelings. With another tingle of magic the substance spread out wide into a flat broad surface. Keen’s green aura worked the substance over, and soon there was an image on it.

“Hello there, changelings of the future. I am Queen Crafty.”

It was an echo, both in imagery and voice of what the queen had just said earlier. The enormous male changeling looked unimpressed.

“You made a little message blob…”

“Yes, it records messages, but I can also put memories directly into it as well. It’s a very special concentration of magic. If you simply reach out your aura, and focus on a memory, it can copy it.”

As she explained, Crafty scrunched her muzzle as she focused her attention more directly on the floating liquid surface.

It swirled, flashed, shifted, and soon another scene appeared. A small shimmer of magic connected between Crafty’s horn and the well. Chrysalis snorted at the older queen’s actions, and found it amusing that she got to watch the well of memories being used, while she used the same well millennia later. The ball of liquid was much smaller back then. With that thought aside, she titled her head to watch what the two other royals watched.

---

In the midst of a secluded forest-

“Hmm, I want you…”

The enormous lion maned changeling circled around the figure of Crafty, and there was a predatory glint in his eyes. Her response was to stare back with fiery glare, and posture defensively against his prowl.

“Can I say no?”

He chuckled a deep chuckle that likely killed most of the local insects and rodents, the force of the low decibels was enough to break small sticks and stones. It certainly made Chrysalis’s heart pause as she watched and listened. Once the enormous royal finished his bout of mirth he stopped his circular trot, and raised his head high. His stature felt like that of a mountain, and his voice matched the imposing nature of his form.

“Why say no? There is no royal stronger than I, nor one that has provided so well for their swarm. You should be kissing my hooves, and begging to be mine.”

“There is more to a changeling than strength alone.”

The female royal jumped from her defensive posture and punched the mountainous changeling right in the eye.

“Gaw!”

He took one stomp of a step backward, and raised his foreleg to shield his face, though Crafty didn’t strike another blow, instead she went back to her defensive posture a few steps away. Another deep chuckle came from the lion maned equine.

He lowered the limb, and revealed one slightly puffy eye. A broad sharp smile spread over his massive mouth, and he stepped forward completely undeterred. The smaller royal backed away as he advanced.

“You are correct, my crafty royal, for you will be mine. Give me your name…”

“I have not acquired one yet.”

“What? How can a sightly royal with such poise not have a name?”

“Save the flattery, I know what you’re here for.”

“Do you?”

With a bound faster than seemed possible for a creature his size, the giant royal leapt forward and pinned Crafty to the ground. She let out a frightened squeal and tried to fire off some magic at him, but he avoided it with a surreal nimbleness.

He laid down his massive girth on her back, and put one giant hoof over her head, and pushed it to the ground. Her horn was no longer able to even point in his direction.

A low growl escaped past his dark lips and long fangs, it was a sound more of reminiscent of a dragon than an equine. His massive head lowered down close to the royal who was pinned helplessly under him, and he took a few deep sniffs.

“I want you, and that should be flattery enough. I take what I wish, and I put down any who stand in my way.”

Keen just looked up at him with a defiant eye, she couldn’t speak, because her jaw was pressed against the ground, but she snorted angrily. Her giant captor looked into her resilient expression with a smug grin.

“I will call you Crafty, for I enjoy the boldness of your insight.”

Much too Crafty’s surprise the weight on her back was lifted, and the enormous hoof was removed from her head. She quickly scurried back as she brought herself to her hooves. In a moment her horn was ignited and prepared to blast, but she saw her aggressor had already turned his back and walked away.

She shook her head and did a double take; all she managed for a short while were some deep breaths and pants. A fair bit of air had been squeezed out of her lungs when he sat on top of her, and she needed to recover.

By the time she felt relatively comfortable again she noticed the mountainous changeling had already made a good distance between them. Her expression fell into deep confusion, what was he walking away for?

Her wings buzzed and she flew forward in pursuit, easily catching up to the enormous royal, who didn’t so much as look at her anymore. She found herself flustered by the sudden lack of aggressive attention.

“Why?”

“Why what?”

He didn’t slow his stride as he answered her. She continued to hover alongside him, frustrated by the change to nonchalance.

“Weren’t you going to force yourself on me, and my swarm?”

“Ha! I could couldn’t I.”

“Then why aren’t you?”

“Why are you following me Crafty?”

He stopped his forward stride, and she held her position in the air. His large fiery eyes turned to look into her cool ones. The question caused the smaller royal to fumble in her attempt to form a response. She couldn’t come up with an answer quickly, so she remained quiet.

The enormous royal dropped his eyelids half way, and he turned his gaze towards the horizon. His reverberant voice carried his words until they echoed in the bones of those who heard.

“It is one thing to take what I want from simple minded fools. It is another matter when I find some changeling with actual spirit. Your presence is something I want following me around of it’s own accord. Not dragged around by my hoof every step of the way.”

Keen lowered herself to the ground from the air, and ceased the flutter of her wings. She looked up with at him with a thoughtful focus, and remained quiet to allow him to continue. With a slow turn of his giant head, he looked away from sunset to the observant Crafty. The smug grin was gone, and replaced with a more somber and tame smile.

“You might be surprised by the number of other royals that have groveled before me. My councilors don’t dare question any action I take. It has been that way for too long, and it’s refreshing to see some honesty, and from one that isn’t a mortal enemy.”

He took a step towards her, and she didn’t back away. His approach wasn’t as predatory as it was before, and she didn’t feel as threatened.

“Since I received wind of your innovative nature I was curious. Now that I tasted of your company, my desire for it has increased. I would have you and your swarm join me willingly.”

“And what would be my place in your swarm. There are several other royals in it already.”

“As long as you don’t wallow pathetically to me, I would have you by my side.”

“You want me as a glorified jester?”

He walked by her slowly, and gently brushed the side of his body against hers. His fiery eyes roamed over her, and she blushed slightly. He continued in candid tone.

“Oh, more than a jester. I must confess it’s also difficult to find a female company sturdy enough to handle me.”

“I can imagine…”

At her response, he laughed and sent another rumble through the forested region

---

In the city ruins, where Chrysalis watched the original memory.

Keen changed the shimmer of magic that connected her with the small well of memories, and caused the swirl of liquid to go back to it’s place on the altar stones, a place which Chrysalis couldn’t observe. The queen of the past turned to the exceptionally giant royal next to her with a raised eyebrow.

“Interested in sharing a little more?”

“That was a nice time wasn’t it? Back when I thought I needed some changeling to question me.”

“Avall…”

“Alright, yes, it does seem interesting, but what would future generations want to know from me? All I’ve done is crack a few heads, and kept my swarm’s appetite satiated. Something any royal should be willing to do.”

“Start with how you came to lead the swarm.”

“You want me to share that story? It was simple enough, I kicked a coward off the throne.”

“Show us, I would like to see it from your eyes. You have related that tale so often with words, now we have a means to experience more.”

“Very well, now, all you said I had to do was touch it with my aura and think of the memory?”

“Yes, it’s quite simple.”

A green aura glowed around the giant’s saber shaped horn, and the small stream of liquid was levitated back into the air, and held close to the enormous royals face. Soon all Chrysalis could see was his countenance.

“Were you talking to the future generation earlier Keen?”

“Yes I was Avall, why don’t you share a word.”

“Hmm, I suppose I’ll, no, they’ll get enough of an introduction with the memory. Just know me as king Avalanche, whoever you are.”

He closed his bright eyes and a shimmer of magic connected his bladed horn and the well of memories.