Seeré Anastil (SEER-ay AN-uh-still)
The Lost Prince
Ambient sounds courtesy of tosha73 and EminYILDIRIM
Greetings to those below. I am Death, though Azrael is the name I most enjoy. Today I will tell you of someone who, I admit, I don’t know very well. People like Jezryn, Ilitha, and Helios I know quite well if only because their line of work keeps me around. And while I’m around, I engage in some people-watching. Wouldn’t you?
But Seeré is different. He and I haven’t crossed paths much at all, you see, but the few times we have, have always left quite an impression. An intriguing stranger, I will call him. And one who is lost in more ways than his recent epithet would tell you. But first the introductions. Who is this lost prince? And what can he do?
Anāriel: “My . . . brother used to call me Annie.” Baläg: “Oh, right, the Lost Phrasu. There are not as many stories about him.” Anāriel: “Just say Lost Prince like everyone else.”—Anāriel Anastil and Baläg Loperian briefly discussing Seeré
As with all Sithuwaye, Seeré has psionic abilities. Psionics is the catch-all term referring to the powers of the mind, specifically telepathy and telekinesis. Power levels do vary based on genetics, though. For Seeré himself, his power is above-average but nowhere near the strongest. That honor goes to his eldest sister, Vānima the Veldriss . . . unfortunately.
Another standard for all Sithuwaye is sithu. It is the white fire burning on top of Sithuwaye blood—the source of their immortality. Sithu protects against illness and heals non-mortal wounds. While the fire is not normally hot, it can be weaponized if the Sithuwaye wills it. If subjected to a state of extreme isolation or loneliness, a Sithuwaye’s sithu can start to fade, and eventually, they can die. A sense of connection is as vital as water to the Sithuwaye people.
This last ability is not common for Sithuwaye. It is not common for anyone, quite frankly, to the point it is rather shocking that not only can Seeré do this, but so can his two siblings. Shadowstealers are people with shape-shifting abilities. Due to its extreme rarity, it is largely mysterious to most people, even to those who have it, as almost nothing is known as to how or why the power manifests. There are theories, though . . .
Aside from shadowstealing, Seeré is a Sithuwaye through and through. This means he has need of an araya liseté to stay mentally well. As I said, a sense of connection is as vital as water to the Sithuwaye people. Having an araya liseté supplies this need when it cannot otherwise be found in people. For those of you with pets, when you are feeling lonely or upset, do you not seek your pet’s company for comfort and love? It is a similar idea to that. You would not be wrong to think of araya liseté as cushions or buffers that ward off the loneliness that comes with unchosen isolation. This helps prevent a Sithuwaye’s sithu from fading should circumstances cause this to become a risk. Araya liseté is a word in Sithuli meaning “living gem”. Typically made into jewelry such as necklaces, rings, or earrings, an araya liseté is fashioned from a precious gem into the shape of whatever animal the Sithuwaye chooses. In Seeré’s case, he chose a topaz ring that could take the form of a tiger. He named him Kasúf. I regret to say, though, that Seeré does not have Kasúf anymore. He lost him. Or should I say Kasúf was taken from him, a decidedly cruel act, and not just because the person who stole Kasúf was Seeré’s own sister. Vānima knew what she was doing. She knew exactly what it was like to lose an araya liseté. The pain. The loss. She did it anyway. But that was after the Battle of the Royals Dead, after the second time I saw Seeré. After . . . well, I’m getting ahead of myself. I really do need to explain something here.
A Narrator's Disclaimer
I cannot stress enough just how little I have been a part of Seeré’s life. Part of this is understandable considering he’s a Sithuwaye and is therefore immortal. Unless a giant rock falls on his head or something pointy stabs some vital place, I suppose I will never meet Seeré in-person. But this is why I cannot give you what you no doubt are wanting, and this time, it is not because I am not permitted to say. Seeré is the Lost Prince. There lies the natural and obvious question: Where is he? Please do not feel foolish for asking me. It is understandable to think that because I am Death, surely I must know where everyone is. But that is not exactly true. I am not omnipresent. I am not all-knowing, either. To be these things, I would have to be divine, and that I most certainly am not. I’ve just been around a while, is all, which tends to mean I know more than most. And, of course, if Seeré completed his story and his time to die had come, I would be able to find him, then. My master, who is divine, would tell me where he was so I could collect him. But since Seeré still lives, and no one near him seems to have died—an event that would, of course, see me stumble upon him by chance—I truly don’t know where Seeré is. All this to say, I will tell you what little I do know of him, but with a purpose in mind. Seeré needs to be found, not just for his own sake but for the world, and perhaps in learning about him, a clue to his whereabouts might be discovered. Perhaps the fact I don’t know where he is, is a clue unto itself. Listen closely, then. I saw the Lost Prince three times.
The First Time
You might be thinking that, if I have been so absent from Seeré’s life, surely his life has been happy and that terrible feeling called “loss” has never infected him. But no, those below. It is unfortunately quite the opposite, and I don’t think I would be wrong in saying Seeré has lost more than most people living in Orosta today. Remember I said that though our encounters have been few, they have always left an impression. The first time I saw Seeré, he was already a young man. He was with his other sister, his twin, Anāriel. She and Seeré, unlike Seeré and Vānima, had always been quite close. I encountered them while working, as I encounter most people. I was there to collect . . . well, I’d rather not say. Most collections are routine for me. I care, of course, but distantly as is my nature. But that day I will never forget. Seeré’s part in that day was relatively small considering everything else that happened, but I do remember him. He protected his sister, helped her run from the collapse boiling around them. He even helped Vānima, who was in more pain that day than she ever has in her life. But that was before she took Kasúf from him. Before she did a lot of things. The thing that struck me with Seeré that day was the simple fact he looked back. As I collected the one who made me cry, Seeré looked back, and he saw the one I collected. Truly saw him. So few people did, you see. And in an act I will forever be grateful for, Seeré reached out with his mind and shut off my collection’s pain. The horde still ravaged him, but his screams stopped. Seeré ran on, disappearing with both his sisters through a mirror. He never met my dearest collection. Never even knew his name. But he gave him that gift in the end, and that is all I could have asked for. Thank you, Seeré. Thank you.“She missed her brother. She pictured him sitting next to her, imagining his deep voice and crooked grin. He would have teased her about hiding from the mirror, making a list of all the ways things could be worse, but he would have hugged her, given her some sort of comfort.”—Remember Dragons Lie Volume I: The Stag – Chapter 8 “Thank You”
The Second Time
The second time I saw Seeré was a bit longer, if only because there was quite the build up to that terrible finale known as the Battle of the Royals Dead, and so I was hovering around the palace. Waiting. Amidst my dread for the coming night, though, I was still grateful to Seeré for the gift he had given to one who, at least to him, had been a complete stranger. I was curious to get to know the prince. And from what I’ve observed, I can say with confidence that Seeré is a world of contradictions. He is quiet except when he’s not. He’s fun-loving and carefree, but that seems to depend on the time of day, or week, or month. Most of all, being a Sithuwaye, he can read minds, and yet he has so far failed to attain the thing he wants most: a connection of the mind, to meet someone who can match him body and soul. Not exactly an odd desire for a Sithuwaye considering their needs and culture, but for Seeré, it seems to be more than that. He’s lonely. Has been all his life, or at least, he has been each time I’ve glimpsed him. Combine that with how bored he is, and you have before you one of the most restless souls I’ve encountered. I doubt that restlessness was eased the night of the Battle of the Royals Dead. That night, everyone in the entire kingdom over the age of fifteen was slaughtered. Seeré had to watch, helpless to stop it. Vānima was nowhere to be found, Anāriel had disappeared into the night after her traumatized husband, and their parents . . . Seeré found them dying, killed as part of the onslaught. He managed a brief farewell with his father before the soldiers came and dragged him away. I don’t know if they thought he had done it, or if it was all part of the plan to get the powerful prince out of the way. It was sometime after this that Vānima—who had managed to survive the slaughter and reclaim the throne—took Kasúf from him. I wasn’t there for that, but I do know it happened, because the last time I saw him, he wasn’t wearing the topaz ring, and just by looking at him, it was clear he had been without an araya liseté for a while. A restless soul, now unstable, becoming ever more restless. There was anger in him now, too. Lots of anger. His twin sister, Anāriel, understood him best, I think, but she’s been gone for the last 150 years. Oh, not dead. I should clarify that. She’s quite well, at least physically. Seeré just can’t find her. This, of course, is a bit ironic since, as far as the rest of the world is concerned—both his sisters included—Seeré is the one no one can find. The mystery began the last time I saw him. The last time anyone saw him.“I have tried searching for him, but . . . let us just say he is a little too good at playing hide-and-seek.”—Anāriel Anastil
The Last Time
It was over a hundred years ago now. Hm, has it really been that long? Time never does cease its brutal march, does it? I remember he was in a prison, the Veldriss’s prison beneath her palace in Atheliona. Seeré was not chained, but the marks on his wrists told me he had been only moments ago. Shouts clamored deeper in the dungeons. Vānima knew he was free, and her assassins were on their way. But as I drifted into the prison, unseen, I didn’t see a man fleeing for his life. I saw him holding the reason I was there. The Zurrinaih woman in his arms wasn’t dying, but she wanted to, and for that reason her soul had called to me. I watched as she begged him to kill her. All the while Seeré held her, and I’m glad to say what he promised her saved her life. “I’ll come back,” he said. The clamor of assassins grew louder, and Seeré stood up, disappearing down the corridor. From that day on, he became the Lost Prince. He was gone, like a gasp of air in the cold. A brief glimpse. Then nothing. As for the Zurrinaih woman, there is one important thing I haven’t mentioned yet. She loved Seeré. That much was obvious. But if you saw her, you would understand why Seeré didn’t kiss her before he left. No, she wasn’t disfigured or anything like that. She wasn’t ugly, either, but even if she had been, Seeré still would have kissed her, I think. No, he didn’t kiss her for a much simpler, tragic reason. She looked exactly like Vānima.“Kill me . . . please.”—Cyselieth Velshakan
by J. L. Gryphon via ArtbreederOr, I suppose I should say, Vānima looked exactly like her. “I’ll come back,” Seeré said. But as I said, that was more than a hundred years ago. He still hasn’t. I don’t think he was lying. I saw him. I heard the promise in his voice. He meant it. He absolutely meant it. I just have no idea where he is. I have no idea what happened. And that’s it. I have nothing more to tell. Perhaps new pages to Seeré’s story will be added someday, but for now, he remains an unanswered question from the past. One of many, I’m afraid. I hope he comes back. I hope someone finds him. Then again, I hope for a lot of things.
To learn more, hop on over to the books page OR hop on over to the teaser and get a sneak peek of Chapter 1! For more articles like this one, have a peek at my Worldbuilding Journal and explore Orosta.
Image by J. L. Gryphon via Artbreeder
Honorary & Occupational Titles
- The Lost Prince
- His Highness Phrasu Seeré Anastil of the Royal House Anastil
Currently Held Titles
Date of Birth
The Month of Chal, Day 24, 14819 NS
Year of Birth
14819 182 Years old
The White Citadel
Beige dusted with gold
The Children of Le Sair
- Sithuli (1st – fluent)
- Orostian (2nd – fluent)
- Zishlyn (3rd – passing)
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