The Gewellyn Chronicles

The award-winning epic Christian fantasy series about the family that will carry the Truth to the Nine Worlds, and unite Eyru's Lands forever.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Merry Christmas from The Gewellyn Chronicles!

Starfire: Memories of the Greatest Day

An Aerielands Christmas Story 

            High Queen Fiona Yaleria-Brice stood on the high parapet of Caer Aerie, her home, high in the Borderland Mountains of the Aerielands, at the portal between the worlds of elves and men. Fiona was neither and both at the same time; half elf and half human, the daughter of Elven Queen Iolena Yaleria-Clark and the Truthbearer, Connor Clark. She was comfortable with that, and the role that came with it, as the queen who would someday unite the two worlds of Eyru’s Lands. The hood on her Elven cloak was back as she gazed upon the starlit sky. She smiled softly as the Starfire, the Aurora Borealis, raced across the nighttime sky from the west to the east, knowing that it foretold the arrival soon of her older sister Kai Lee, Menta Kai, Great High Queen of all the Elves in the Nine Worlds, or the daughter she and Kai shared, Crown High Princess and Lieutenant Lona Yaleria-Brice. Although both Fiona and her own daughter, Abilynn, could summon the Starfire, the sky would erupt without summoning whenever the Great High Queen or her Princess returned to their home world.

            Fiona sensed, rather than heard, her mother approach from behind. The nearly identical mother and daughter shared a bond, not just of their incredible beauty, but one of the heart as well. “Máthair,” Fiona acknowledged in her first language, Irish. “Iníon,” Iolena replied, also in the tongue of Cormac and Padraigh. “You always know, don’t you, Nin Mel,” as she wrapped her arms around her child. “I do, Mama. Only Abilynn is as close to me as I am to you.”

            “And Nathaniel,” Fiona could feel her mother’s loving smile, even without looking. “You and your brother are bound, just as you and me, and you and Abby are.” Nathaniel Yalerius-Clark, Fiona’s older brother, and Fiona herself, were the only children born from the marriage of Iolena and Connor. Their three older sisters, Kai Lee, Shannon, Connor’s human daughter from his first marriage, and Alenia, Iolena’s Elven daughter from her’s, were all adopted into the family. “Natty and Tessa are coming home for the Coming of the Great Lion?” Iolena asked.

            “Never fear, Mum. Natty never goes back on his promise. They will be here, with Lona.” Nathaniel and his wife, Tessa Chart, owned and commanded the airship “Starduster,” and Princess Lona served as the vessel’s pilot, which was why she preferred the title of ‘Lieutenant,’ over that of ‘Crown Princess.’ “He promised me that he and Tessa would spend every Christmas with us when he and Tessa were married.”

            “Spend every Christmas with you,” her mother corrected. “Although Natty understands the ways of Elf-kind and respects them, he is a Christ-follower like you are, and as you taught him.” Fiona turned to face her mother while never breaking the embrace. She wrapped her own arms around Iolena’s neck. “You have accepted those teachings as well, Mum. My Blessed Mother Bridget taught them to you when you stayed at Kildare.”

            “Yes, Melin er, she did. But I have never stood in the presence of Jesus the Man. Your father, Kai Lee, and I have bowed before the Great Lion three times on the quest to take the Truth to the Nine Worlds, and you yourself, Inion, have had your life saved by the White Eagle.”

            “Where is Da, anyhow?”

            Iolena’s warm smile lit up Fiona’s heart. “He is with his granddaughter and great-granddaughters, telling them the stories of the Coming and Christmas.” Shannon’s daughter Talia, and her husband, Taeral, were Master Healers, who lived in Aerie Village outside of the Caer’s walls with their daughters, Estrella, and little Aerilaya, (“Star” and “Sky”)

            Fiona’s face turned serious. “Mum, you were alive when He was born, weren’t you?” Iolena nodded slowly. “Why have you never told us about it? What was it like, that night, here in the Aerielands?”

            “Your father says there is a book on First Earth that begins, ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’ For our people, it was very much like that. Come, let us go down where it is warmer, and I will tell you about it. It is time you knew.” As they turned to descend the stairs, Fiona caught her mother’s arm. “Máthair, look!” She pointed to the eastern sky, where the Starfire blazed a golden path across the night sky to merge spectacularly with that coming from the west.

“Lona is coming, Mama! Her Starfire is reaching out to Kailee’s. The Crown Princess has come home to the Aerielands on the Starduster.”

Iolena chuckled. “I never know if you are more excited to see your daughter or your brother, Fiona. They come from the east, from the Juncture.”

“From Eldaria, Mum. They had to pick up Tessa’s parents and Peter. I hear he has a new girlfriend, and it’s serious. They want her to meet the family.”

“That’s wonderful. Any word on Richard and Kitlaen?” Iolena asked about her and Connor's best friends, the rulers of Drohana in Eldaria. “They travel on the Starduster as well, and they are also bringing our cousin Tarabet, Jonah, Annja, and my two itinerant spies,” Fiona told her.

“Might I suggest, Nin Mel? Why don’t we wait until your sisters and brother are all here and I will tell all of you about the Greatest Day in the history of the Nine Worlds.” Fiona was about to reply when the parapet door burst open and a beautiful, red-haired young woman almost tumbled out.

“Mama! There you are! Lona is coming! The Starduster just crossed into the Eastlands!” Abilynn stopped, flustered. “I’m sorry, Mum, G’dara. Did I interrupt something? I’m just excited to see my little sister again. It’s been such a long trip this time.”

Iolena grinned. “Now, with Abby, I know she’s more excited to see Lona than her uncle and aunt.” She nodded skyward. “Abilynn Enya, look to the eastern sky.” Abby did as her grandmother instructed and her jaw dropped. “I have never seen the Starfire so bright! Have you, G’dara?”

“Only once before, my Love. In fact, we were just going indoors to talk about that night. Will you join us when the rest of the family is here?”

“I would love to. I love history. You know that,” the redhead replied.

“Before we go inside, Abby, how would you like to send a message to your sister and Tia Kai?” Fiona gestured to the sky. A huge smile broke across Abilynn’s face. “You mean?” Her mother nodded. “May I join in this?” Iolena asked.

“Of course, Amil,” Fiona used the Elvish word for ‘Mother.’ The three women moved to the edge of the parapet, joined hands, and raised them to the brilliant sky. With an audible ‘whoosh,’ Lona’s golden Starfire and Menta Kai’s red were joined by the soaring green aurora from the Aerielands’ queens and princess. The lights rolled and peaked together, then were joined by an equally dazzling blue. Looking across the courtyard to the opposite wall, they saw Gewellyn Princess and Master Healer Talia Nichanova with her daughter Estrella, “the Star” on her shoulders, their hands raised to the heavens to welcome home Christmas and the Great High Queen.


“Eyru was fading and her husband, Yalerius the First, had already walked on. Tlannatar, Thallan, and I were young Elves. I was almost the same age as Kailee, and of course, Tanner was older and Thallan older still. Grandmother, Lady Celantine, had already assumed the throne to prepare for her mother to walk onto the Great North.” Iolena sat with her best forever sister-friend, Kitlaen Skystormer, the Jai Pastora of Eldaria, on the couch in Fiona’s family quarters. Her husband, children, grandchildren, and closest family friends sat on other chairs or the floor in the spacious living room, a warming fire crackling in the hearth. “One evening, Eryu urgently summoned grandmother to her quarters. It was then that she told my grandmother that after she walked on, only the coming of the Great High Queen of All the Elves could reignite the Starfire. We saw that from the Bridge Across the Stars on the night that we brought Kailee back to the Aerielands for the first time since she was a small child. We saw that again tonight,” Iolena’s voice was almost a whisper, “when Menta Kai came from the west, and Princess Lona from the east, and their Starfire merged over Caer Aerie and the Borderland Mountains. But there was a part of Eryu’s prophecy that has been left out from the coming of the Great High Queen. She told grandmother that one other would come and with Him, the Starfire would soar for a time once again. When the Great Lion came to the world of Elves; the White Eagle rose from the ancient line of Eldaria; when the Son of Man came to save the world of Terra, the Starfire would sweep across the sky in all of the Nine Worlds.”

“In our world,” Kitlaen added, “where we do not live nearly as long as elf-kind, legendary stories are still told of the night the light blazed across the Northern Sky and the White Eagle came to his people.”

“On First Earth, only the Native peoples of the far north, the Aleut, Yupiks, Inuit, Siberians, the Sami of Lapland, and those of the very far south saw the Aurora as you describe,” Connor commented. “But over Bethlehem, the City of David, a great light, a star of amazing brightness shone.”

“And from that star, we believe that the Starfire that lit the Nine Worlds, brighter by far than even that of Eryu herself, had its birth,” Iolena continued. “Shortly after that last conversation with my grandmother, our grandmother,” she corrected, nodding at her brother, Tlannatar, and cousin, Thallan, “Eyru the Magnificent walked on to the Great North and took her place among the legends of both elf-kind and the ancient tribes of the Irish. Lady Celantine never forgot the prophetic parting message that her mother had given to her, and although she did not share it with our parents until the moment was at hand, I know she treasured it and kept it in her heart always.”

            “But Amil, I do not understand,” Menta Kai questioned, “why the Starfire that comes with Lona and I is so bright, especially tonight, even before Fiona and Talia joined in?”

            Iolena smiled at her middle daughter. “Because, Nin Mel, the Great Lion is the Savior of all of the Nine Worlds, but you and the young woman that you share the raising of are the hope of all elf-kind.” Lona looked adoringly at Menta Kai and laid her head on her mother’s shoulder.

“Not many years as Elves calculate, after Eryu walked on,” Iolena continued, “Grandmother, who had by then abandoned Caer Aerie and had Aerielands Castle constructed, called for our and Thallan’s parents, the commanders of the Borderland Rangers, and the Singers to convene at Aerielands Castle. When they arrived, they found Lady Celantine and Tar Pardita Irazana of Terra, although she was only a Tarina at the time. She bore a message from her father, the Lord Irazana and King of the Terran Elves, that the time long foretold was at hand. She inquired of each, had they seen or heard anything that could confirm the message from Terra? It was the Singers, Jaed and Jessa Silvarin, Kailee’s birthparents, who reminded Celantine of Eryu’s words of prophecy. They had seen no glorious light, as Eryu had foretold, and our grandmother accepted that. After providing due hospitality, she bade Tarina Pardita to return to Terra and tell her father, respectfully, that they had seen nothing in keeping with the foresight of Eryu the Magnificent. The princess reluctantly agreed, for even then, she was a woman of significant wisdom and persistence. As they climbed the steps of the parapet where Pardita’s Great Eagle waited, a light like daylight filtered around the edges of the door. When it was opened, they beheld the Starfire, brighter than it had ever been and in its midst, Azerel of the Sky.” She looked across at Lona, whose bright eyes showed recognition and curiosity. “You remember her, don’t you, Lona Yaleria?”

“I do, G’dara, from the very first time I traveled with my Lady Queen on the Bridge Across the Stars, when I was a little elfling.”

“A very courageous little elfling, Melin er. It is said that Azerel watches over elf-kind, and I believe she knew even then, before any of us, your destiny, Lona.” Iolena looked at Ciliren Irazana, Tar Pardita’s daughter, and continued “Tarina Pardita turned to Lady Celantine, and said, ‘Come with me, my Lady. Surely, this is the sign for which you were waiting. Even the Shepherd of the Sky beckons you to come with me to Bethlehem, in Judea, on Terra.’ Grandmother looked to the others for counsel, and it was Jessa Silvarin who told her, ‘The Song sings of a Savior, my Queen, who will be born on Terra, but whose presence shall be known in each of the Nine Worlds in the way he chooses to show himself. Pray, go, and welcome the Great Lion when He comes.’”

“I should take one of my grandchildren to see this wondrous event,” Celantine responded. “Iolena, will you accompany me?”

Pardita shook her head. “My Lady, in the world of Men, it is the time of men. When the Messiah, for that is what He is called by both human and elf-folk alike, when He is born the presence of a she-elf would not be acceptable, except as a midwife.” Fiona gasped, and her father looked at her, knowing she was thinking of the legend of Mother Bridget and the angels. “I would suggest one of your grandsons accompany you.” I am sure that my disappointment was very evident on my face, for my mother, Queen Lleonora, stepped in.

“Amil, take Thallen. He is the most learned of the three, and I need Tanner and Yena at my side to deal with these incursions from beyond our lands.” Amil was commander of the Rangers, as well as Queen of the Great Forest.

“Lleonora is correct, my Queen,” my father added. “Goblins, Orcs, and Black Riders continue to raid and sack our settlements from the Dairemoore to the Bridge Across the Stars. We are relocating those who have survived the attacks. Our nephew, while a skilled warrior and tactician, is also a man of words. He can record what you witness, and he can also serve as your guardian in the Terran world.”

Grandmother looked around the group, and all agreed. “Let me summon the Great Eagles then, and we shall be on our way.” Then suddenly, without a sound or anyone seeing it happen, Azerel stood among us. “That shall not be necessary, Celantine Yaleria. Take my hand, and Thallen Yalerius, my other.” They did so, and like that, they were gone.

“What about Tar Pardita and her eagle?” Lona asked.

“The Tarina and her mount vanished with G’dara and Thallen, almost like they were never there.”

“In my journals, I recorded a journey like none I have ever experienced, before or since.” Lord Thallen smiled at Connor. “Not even our adventures with the Truthbearer, amazing as they have been, can compare with that night.”

“Continue, Thallen, please,” Iolena encouraged.

“Azerel whisked us to Terra. I am not even sure how, although both Grandmother and I saw the worlds beneath us as we flew. I don’t know how or when we crossed from the Aerielands to Terra, but I saw Gewellyn and another land beneath us momentarily. Then we were there. Azerel released our hands and joined others of her kind in the sky; hundreds upon hundreds of them. Because our ears are more pointed than those of Terran elves, Pardita cautioned us to keep our heads covered, and we followed a group of sheep herders into the town and to a stable. Overhead shone a star brighter than any I have ever seen. I thought surely there was some mistake. The King of Mankind cannot be housed in such a place, but once again, Azerel was at my ear, telling me to not believe with my eyes, but rather with my heart. With the shepherds, we knelt before the Child and His mother, and Lady Celantine took a small harp that she always carried in her marsupial and laid it at the foot of the manger. There was another woman there, a beautiful human with ravishing red hair and skin much fairer than that of the mother, father, and the shepherds. I did not know who she was then, although I know her now, Fiona, since your wedding.”

“My Blessed Reverend Mother Bridget?” Fi asked hesitantly, and her uncle nodded. “Indeed. And while we were still there, two of Azerel’s kind came and led her away, for her part in that was complete. Grandmother spoke briefly with the Child’s mother, and then we left the stable. Outside, we were met by Lord Irazana and his wife, Pardita’s parents, who thanked us for answering their request and asked us to share a meal with them. After dining, they led us to a portal that deposited Grandmother and I at the Juncture of the Nine Worlds.”

“We believe that, at the moment that Grandmother laid her harp at the foot of the manger, the Starfire flared east to west and back again, brighter than the sun itself,” Iolena resumed the story. “And then it vanished for two thousand years until a beautiful blonde she-elf crossed the Bridge Across the Stars with her adopted parents.”

“And the hope of elf-kind was reborn.” Alenia, who had been silent until now, spoke up. “I love you all, little sisters, and Lona. I remember the night the Starfire returned. It is a night I will never forget.”

“My family and friends, tomorrow evening, once again we will raise our voices and our hands in praise to our Lord and remember His Coming as the Great Lion, and His birth in Bethlehem. I would be honored if each of you who can and wishes to participate would join me and our Caer Aerie community as we once again celebrate Him,” Fiona told them. “Thank you, Máthair and Uncle Thallan, for sharing with us.”


The final guests of the Christmas celebration arrived early the next morning, as Joseph Spotted Eagle, Menta Kai’s husband Sage, Alenia’s husband Abrallan, and Abilynn’s fiancé, Anders Wynfarin rode through the great gates of Caer Aerie together, towing a giant, perfectly shaped spruce tree.

“Compliments of the Shepherds of the Forest, John Farmer, and Spruceroarer,” Joseph told Menta Kai and Fiona. “Whenever Lona is ready, we will set up and decorate the tree.”

“The Lieutenant will be out shortly,” Kai told them with a smile. “See if you can keep her two boyfriends from getting into a fistfight over who gets to help her the most. Young Connor and Garald have almost duked it out a couple of times since Lona got home.”

“That sounds like a job for her father,” Sage grinned. Menta Kai started to agree with him, when he continued, “Where is Cadel, anyhow?”

“You are her father too, Sage Kriskas. Don’t go pawning off your fatherly duties on Cadel and Berian,” Kai retorted.

“Just kidding, my love. Remember, I spend almost every day with her and her Guardians on the Starduster.” He grinned again. “Maybe I should just let Mira handle it.”

“Handle what, my Lord?” Lona’s bodyguard and best friend Mira Del Tor approached, bowing to Menta Kai.

“Lona’s two suitors,” Sage answered.

“Oh, those two?” She scrunched up her face. “Already dealt with, my Lord. I didn’t have to lift a finger. It’s amazing what the flapping wings of a Guardian Eagle can do to get bad boys to behave. Zedra took care of it.”

“No doubt,” Joseph smiled. He turned to Menta Kai. “Kai Lee, my dear, you get more beautiful every time I see you.” He hugged Kailee, and she gave him a big kiss on the lips. “We need to talk later, your Majesty. Here comes the commander of the tree decorating team. Hallo, Lieutenant Lona Brice. You have grown to be as beautiful as your mothers, and your uniform suits you.”

“Uncle Joseph!” She hugged him almost as tightly as her mother had and also landed a kiss on his cheek. “Uncle Abrallan, Adda, let’s get this tree up so we can get it decorated. These two miscreants can help.” She pointed to Connor and Garald. “If they give you any problems, throw them in the dungeon until I leave. Anders, Sissy is waiting for you in Amil Fi’s study.”

“She’s gotten used to giving orders, hasn’t she?” Joseph said quietly to Sage.

“Oh yeah,” the other nodded. “You don’t know the half of it.”


The tree glowed brightly as the Caer Aerie community assembled for the annual Christmas celebration, the aurora glowing softly in the northern sky. Stories were told of the Great Lion, the White Eagle, and, for the first time, Thallen’s recounting of his journey to Bethlehem with Lady Celantine. Songs were sung of the Glory of the Savior. Then, as Fiona and Abilynn reached the crescendo of ‘O Holy Night,’ the women of the Clan Yalerius and Caer Aerie raised their hands and their voices in praise to the Lord, and the sky burst brighter than ever, the Starfire leaping, dancing, and soaring in shades of red, green. blue, and violet across the sky, lighting Azerel, her hands also raised in worship. In the sky beyond, they could see the Great Lion himself, soaring on his magnificent wings within the Starfire that celebrated Him.