Victoria Penning

United States of America

b-day is Jan 1st
11 siblings
coffee drinker
fangirl of Keeper of the Lost Cities
a goof
town & country girl
Author of Evidence for Angels
Jesus loves you, and I do too.

Message to Readers

I've been working on this idea for a while, but I feel like I might be copying Keeper of the Lost Cities a little bit. If you guys feel like that's what I'm doing, just let me know. I really don't want to end up doing that. O_O XD Let me know if you enjoy it also. :)

The Emerald Goblet: Chapter 1

November 23, 2018


 Erin followed the cloaked stranger through the long hallway. The dark cloak swayed back and forth to the stranger’s footsteps, though they made no sound. She felt extremely out of place in her jeans and converse around the multitude of people dressed in rich colors, and clothes as if from a fantasy novel. 
   The man that Erin had been following pushed through a door rimmed and decorated with gold, and tinted with an emerald green. He stood to the side and waited for the girl to pass through the door. His dark eyes pierced hers. She could just barely make out his face. It looked young, and fresh. At school, the popular girls would've called him either cute, or hot. Right now, he was just making her nervous. She slid through the opening, and stayed as far away from him as possible. When she made it through, she jerked to a stop as she saw the room. Her green eyes widened as they took in the strange but beautiful sight. Sparkling, shimmering bubbles floated around the room. They bounced off of objects and walls without popping, but when they hit her, they popped into a cloud of shimmering dust and glitterfied her shoes. Bookshelves lined the walls and were filled with beautifully colored books. She turned in circles as she stood in the middle of the room, her gaze passed over the young man twice as he stood by the closed doors watching her. She paused for a moment, when she saw something like amusement in his eyes, but it quickly dissipated when he noticed that she saw it. A rich voice came from behind her, causing her to jump and interrupted her thoughts. 
   "Welcome, Erin Niless. We've waited for years to bring you here, and now, your time has finally come."    
Erin squeaked embarrassingly and spun around. The young man who had led her to the room finally let out a snort. Erin’s head swiveled to shoot him a glare, and then back around as the voice spoke again.
    “I apologize for your escort, Lady Erin. He should know to recognize royalty.”
Erin’s eyes widened and her head swiveled once again back to the young man at the door way. Both their eyes had widened in shock, but he hastily bent at the waist and focused on the ground.
   “I apologize, my Lady.”
He stayed bent over, until it was awkward. The voice spoke again.
   “He is awaiting your verdict. You have the power to… shall we say… dispose of him, if you are unhappy with his ignorance.”
Erin’s eyes widened even more, if that was at all possible. She looked back at the young man and could see a slight trickle of sweat build on his forehead.
    “Oh gosh, no! You’re fine!”
She ran over and gripped his shoulders, making him rise.
   “It’s fine! Don’t worry about it!”
He straightened, and gave her a tight smile.
   “Thank you, my Lady. It won’t happen again.”
He was stiff and uncomfortable. The voice spoke again.
   “Such chivalry, Lady Erin. Let us hope your kind heart does not affect the lives of the people.”
She turned in shock when a figure became visible at the side of the room. A tall man stood beside a chair. He had shockingly light blue eyes, and blond shoulder length hair that was tied back, causing him to look like a royal king out of a fairy tale book. There was something in his eyes that caused Erin to give a slight shudder. Her escort quickly bowed at the waist again. This time it was shallower, and not fearful, like his bow toward Erin, but this one held repulsion, and mockery.
    “Lord Cleffnin.”
Erin whispered the strange name, and wondered where she had heard it before.
   “You may go now.”
He waved a hand, dismissing the boy. As the young man passed him, Erin just barely caught the words Lord Cleffnen hissed under his breath.
   “Mess up like that again and I’ll have your head whether she likes it or not.”
Erin quickly caught on that she must have some kind of authority at the moment, and she used it.
   “Wait a moment.”
She tried to sound like a lady, but she wasn’t sure she did a very good job. Lord Cleffnen and the boy stopped and turned their attention back to her.
   “Yes, my Lady?”
Cleffnen seemed to have a slight bit of mockery in his voice, causing the hairs on her arms to stand on end. She swallowed.
   “I am feeling tired, and I think that the shock of finding out that I am a Lady who has some kind of power to lop someone’s head off if they displease me is not sitting well with me. Whatever it is that you need to talk to me about can wait till the morning. If you are going to be proper hosts, I assume you have a room waiting for me?”
Cleffnen seemed stunned at her sudden announcement, and was tongue tied for a minute, so he nodded. Erin gave a superior nod in satisfaction and nodded to the young man.
   “Will you please escort me to my room?”
He grinned behind Cleffnin’s back, but it dissipated when the lord turned around. He gave a respectful bow.
   “Of course, my Lady.”
He held out his arm, and Erin surprised herself by slipping her hand into the crook of his arm like a lady and strolling through the door. Once it closed behind him, Erin let out a breath she had been holding, and snorted. The young man laughed along with her. Erin caught her breath and glanced at him.
   “I wasn’t sure that would really work.”
He smiled, but it faded quickly as some kind of realization slipped into his mind. Erin stopped walking and turned to face him.
   “Thanks for getting me out of there.”
He looked confused.
   “Uh, you’re the one who got me out.”
Erin shrugged and gave a half a smile.
   “I guess it goes both ways then. I don’t even know your name.”
He bowed once again as he spoke.
   “Rowan, my Lady.”
   “Would you please stop calling me that? I’m not anybody’s lady. Just Erin.”
He looked up sharply at her, but said nothing.
   “Would you like to proceed to your room so you can change, Lady Erin?”
Erin gave an exasperated groan and slid her hand back into the offered arm.
   “You’re impossible.”
A slight sliver of fear slipped onto his face.
   “I’m sorry, my-”
He stopped abruptly, and seemed unsure of what to say. She sighed.
   “Just call me Erin.”
   “But my – Erin, Cleffnen would have my head if he found out that I was not respectful to you.”
Erin thought for a moment.
   “Well then, call me ‘my lady’ only when he or someone else is around. If I’m by myself you can call me Erin.”
A slight smile grew on Rowans face.
   “Very well then Erin.”
   “Okay, now that that is settled, can you please explain where I am, who these people are, why are they dressed that way, and why on EARTH people keep on calling me a Lady?”
Rowan had to laugh at the amount of questions pouring out of her mouth.
   “Slow down. You’re in our village of Trethanadil. Home of the Lords and Ladies of Celantinade. We are elves, yes, elves.”
He smiled as Erin’s mouth dropped open, and held up a hand to forestall the questions that were bound to tumble out her mouth.
   “But… but you don’t have pointy ears!”
Rowan’s smile grew wider.
   “I do, you just don’t see them.”
Erin stared at Rowans ears, as if willing the dark hair to move by itself so she could see the point. He reached up and brushed the hair away, revealing…
   “But your ears look like mine.”
She frowned, as if in disappointment. He smiled again. She seemed to bring his smile more than anyone else could.
   “Wait just a minute.”
He stared off into the distance, as if concentrating on something Erin couldn’t see. She gasped when his ears started to move, and the point was brought out.
Rowan reached out to brush her blonde hair away, but hesitated. He looked back down at her eyes.
   “May I?”
Erin was confused, but nodded. He tucked her hair back, revealing her normal, human shaped ear. He did the same to the other ear, then cupped his hands around both ears. He closed his eyes and concentrated once again. She felt a funny, warm, flowing sensation in her ears. He took his hands away and opened his eyes. He smiled when he surveyed what he had done. Erin reached up and touched her ear. There was a point at the top. She squeaked.
   “What’d you do?”
She looked around for a mirror or something she could see her reflection in. She stared at her reflection in a nearby window. She could clearly see the point that her ears made and felt many different emotions coursing through her mind. Was this good? Could her ears go back to normal? Would they stay this way forever? What would she tell her parents? She turned back to Rowan with an alarmed look. He stepped closer.
   “Don’t worry. I can change it, but this is the way you’re supposed to be. Shall we continue to your room so you can change?”
Erin took his arm in slow motion. She felt overwhelmed, and in a daze, and didn’t really notice the beautiful decorations, paintings and statues that they passed in the hallway. She did notice the well polished wooden door that they stopped at. A guard stood on either side of the door, and nodded to Erin. Rowan stopped and let her continue forward. She turned back to him.
   “Thank you for escorting me.”
Rowan bowed.
   “You’re welcome, Lady Erin.”
Erin could barely see the hint of a smile lurking in the corners of his mouth. He stood and continued on down the hallway. One of the guards stepped to the side and opened the door for her, giving a slight bow before she entered the room. Two maids curtseyed respectfully as she entered the room. They held items of clothing in their hands. Erin smiled at them and held her hands out for the clothes. They seemed to be confused.
   “I can dress myself.”
Fear came onto their faces and they looked at one another.
   “What’s wrong? It’s okay, you can talk to me.”
The taller of the two stepped forward and curtseyed again.
   “M’ Lady, Lord Cleffnin has asked us to help you change so that you can meet him in the library.”
Lord Cleffnin strikes again. The brute.
She smiled to ease their nerves, but was uncomfortable on the inside.
   “Well, you see, ah… I’ve never had anyone dress me before. I’ve always dressed myself and…”
The girl who had addressed their responsibility gave a smile.
   “If you like m’ lady, you can pull on this shift and then we can help you with the other layers.”
Erin gratefully took the white under dress that she held out and disappeared behind the changing screen. She folded her jeans and t-shirt and tucked them under the chair so that she could put them away later. She wasn’t quite ready to get rid of them yet. Especially since she didn’t know how long till she could go home.
   “I’m ready.”
The girls helped her into the beautiful, flowing blue dress. The neckline was a square, scooped neckline, but thankfully it was not too low. It had flowing sleeves, but not too flowing so that it got in the way. A ribbon was around the waist, giving it a belted look. The younger maid produced some slippers a lighter shade of blue and slid them on her feet. They next worked on her hair. She engaged in conversation as they lightly curled her hair using a small iron rod that was heated up in the fire.
   “How long have you girls been maids?”
   “Since we were eight, m’ Lady.”
Erin’s eyes widened.
   “How old are you now?”
   “I’m almost sixteen, she’s fifteen.”
Erin tried to harness her surprise. She was sixteen, almost seventeen. Who on earth would keep these girls in such a lowly position for such a long period of time?
   “Do you enjoy the work?”
   “Well, if I may speak freely m’ Lady,”
   “Please do.”
   “It’s like any other work. We do it to earn money for our families. You won’t hear of any of this in the court, and no one instructing you will tell you of this, but not everyone in Trethandil are wealthy. People will tell you that no one goes hungry, and everyone is healthy and happy here, but that is not true. There are people who are too poor to be in the actual village. They are outcasts, and sent to the edge of the village, and live even deeper in the forest. Most people believe that the reason our families have no money, or food and are sickly is because they carry a curse with them, so they are sent away.”
   “Who sends them away?”
The maid hesitated.
   “Lord Cleffnin. But please don’t try to address the matter with him! He will know who told you and send us away also, and this is the only way we can make money for our families!”
Erin clasped her hands in her lap, and stared into the mirror, gazing at the unrecognizable young woman who stared back. Her blonde hair was braided into a coil around her head, with small tendrils falling here and there in small curls. Pearls were pinned into the braid in different places. She stood once the maids had finished and observed her full appearance in a longer mirror. The dress brushed the tops of her shoes and the silk caused it to make a rustling sound. She ran her hands down her slender waist, smoothing the silk ribbon. She turned to the maid and placed a hand on her shoulder.
   “I won’t tell him. But I promise I will try to make things better.”
A knock on the door interrupted her. The younger maid answered the door. She spoke for a moment, then reached out and took a message. Opening it, she turned to Erin.
   “Lord Cleffnin would like you meet him in the library.”
Erin rolled her eyes.
   “As soon as possible.”
Erin gave a sly smile.
   “Very well then. As soon as possible for me. We don’t need to go yet then.”
The maids gave puzzled looks, making Erin’s smile grow wider.
    “If he wants me when it’s possible for me, then I’ll come when it’s possible for me. Not him.”
They smiled also as they understood. They put the brushes away and the curling rod.
    “Can someone send Rowan to be my escort to the library?”
    “Of course my Lady.”
Erin wandered around, exploring the room when the maids had left the room. She gazed out the window, shocked at her first sight at the outside world.
  The houses were massive, and nestled in between even bigger trees, with sparkling green, gold and purple leaves. The warm golden sunlight streamed through the branches, glistening off the leaves and sending rays of color streaming through the air. She had to smile. Her thoughts were interrupted at a knock on the door.
   “Come in.”
She called loudly. 
   “You wanted an escort to the library, my Lady?”
Erin smiled as she turned at the familiar voice in the door. Rowan’s eyes sparkled with a smile that didn’t touch his lips. His eyes turned slightly to the guards outside the door, silently explaining the formality. Erin wiped the smile off of her face and acted as if he wasn’t even there. Strangely, Erin could feel things coming to her naturally that she didn’t even know about. She knew that a Lady never conversed with a servant, always held herself in a dignified manner, and was polite, yet could be stern. She knew that she had the ability to be stern to people and they would listen, yet she didn’t know where this had come from. She floated over to the door and took Rowan’s arm without speaking to him. They strode away from the door and waited till they were around the corner to speak. Rowan seemed to hesitate, but then leaned a little closer to her and whispered in her ear. “You look much better in that than your human clothes.”
Erin blushed. No one had ever complimented her like that before.
They drew closer to the library door and Rowan allowed her to enter, and then stood inside by the door, waiting to be dismissed.
   “Lady Erin, how wonderful that you finally decided to meet with me.”
Once again, the mockery filled his voice. Erin straightened.
   “You requested my presence as soon as possible, so I came as soon as possible.”
Rowan hide a quick smile when he noticed Cleffnin’s confusion at how she had rebutted him. Erin turned toward Rowan and gave him a nod, dismissing him. As Cleffnin turned towards Erin once more, Erin took a deep calming breath.
   “Sir Cleffnin, I-”
   “I do believe that’s Lord Cleffnin.”
Erin imagined rolling her eyes, but didn’t physically because she was unaware of what he would do to her if she did.
    “Lord Cleffnin, I do have a couple complaints about you ability as a host. Your guards have been very threatening, the other servants in the building have not been respectful, and you have been most overbearing. If this hostility continues, I shall find somewhere else to stay. Is that clear?”
Cleffnin grit his teeth. “Yes, Lady Erin. I understand.”
  For the next several hours, Cleffnin taught Erin their way of life and the rules of the nobility. Erin had to grind her teeth together a couple of times as his arrogance and mockery set in now and then.  
   When Cleffnin finally released Erin, she slipped out the doors. Seeing no guards, she decided to have a look around their dwellings. She slid from one hallway to the next. She would duck behind decorative items now and then to hide from the passing guards. She made it to a set of large doors that led to the outside. She opened one just a tiny bit, then slid her slender frame through the crack and closed the door behind her. Her eyes widened when she saw where she was. She was in a large garden, with pathways leading hither and yon throughout the trees of dark wood and purple and blue trailing branches. She stepped forward, and almost gave a shriek when she observed the pathway closer. It was laid with gold and gems and crystal, yet it was smooth over the top, as if they had been set into the ground, with a protective layer on the top. She took a hesitant step on the path. After convincing herself that the path would hold, she continued on. Neatly trimmed bushes in beautiful shapes were scattered around, lining walkways, and framing the benches that were places around. Flowers gave off their sweet scent and filled the air. The gentle twitter of birds filled the air and small blue birds flew throughout the air. She gave a slight sigh of relief when she saw something that she recognized, but when one landed and swiveled its head to look her way, she stumbled a step backwards. It had the sleek body of a bluebird, with a gray head, but what startled her, were the large, colored eyes. The bird staring at her had red eyes. She spun to follow the other birds in the air. She caught sight of birds with purple eyes, black eyes, brown eyes, blue eyes… She convinced herself once again that the birds weren’t out to feast upon her flesh; she swept down the path, surveying the beautiful garden, until she reached a wall. Erin frowned down at the wall, then down at her dress. She shrugged, then gave a jump, and grabbed a tree branch. She pulled herself through the tree, towards the top of the wall. She batted her dress away from her legs multiple times, then settled onto a branch at the top so that she was concealed in the flowers and leaves, but she was able to see over the top of the wall. The view of the city took her breath away once again, as the sparkling trees, the large trees with houses built into the tree trunks with rope bridges spreading from tree to tree. She stared off into the distance, completely oblivious to the figure slipping into the tree and scaling their way up the other side of the trunk.

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  • Victoria Penning

    Oh no!!! I'll check it out once I'm finished with school,if you'd like! :)

    about 1 year ago
  • NightReader

    I posted the fist chapter of a book I was trying to write, and I don't think anyone has even bothered to read it :(

    about 1 year ago
  • Victoria Penning

    It's pretty easy to find. XD I'll be asking regularly about your progress. ;D

    over 1 year ago
  • korra4life

    Alright. I'll try to read it if I can find it... XD

    over 1 year ago
  • Victoria Penning

    Hahaha!!!!!! They're really thick books, too. ;P You don't have to try for the first three. Just start with the first and see whether or not you like it. :D XD

    over 1 year ago
  • korra4life

    The first three??? Fine, I'll try but I can't promise, lol

    over 1 year ago
  • Victoria Penning

    Oh yay! I actually couldn't think of what prompt you were talking about for a second. I'll check it out. :D

    over 1 year ago
  • Victoria Penning

    -_- Fne. The first three then. ;P Haha! I do that all the time. And it's always when I'm supposed to be doing so.etching else, that the words come out of me very naturally. -_- XD

    over 1 year ago
  • korra4life

    Also, I FINALLY responded to the prompt you made for me. It's called 'Honeycomb' and I hope you like it. It's kind of weird, though, and is very different from what I usually write. Let me know what you think. Please be brutally honest :D

    over 1 year ago
  • korra4life

    Lol, I don't know if I can read all 7 books.... :D
    You're welcome and glad you liked my idea. I honestly am so tired that I had no idea what I was typing. Reading it back now, it makes a lot of sense! I guess I write better when I'm exhausted, XD

    over 1 year ago
  • Victoria Penning

    Oh good! ;D I expect a full report of all 7 books before my birthday. ;P
    Heh heh.... I'll make sure I fix that. XD
    Oooohhh!!!! I like that!! Yes. I will try that! :D Thanks for the idea!!! :D

    over 1 year ago
  • korra4life

    Alright, I'll try to read Keeper of the Lost Cities before the end of this year :)
    And the spelling thing does make sense.
    My twist for you would be... what if Lord Cleffnin had a son or something who was really handsome and saavy. Then, Erin falls in love with the son, who really likes her too but has to do something that may hurt her because of his father. I have no idea what I'm talking about, XD.

    over 1 year ago
  • Victoria Penning

    korra4life, oooooohhhhh mmmmmyyyyy........... *gotta calm my squeal* You HAVE to read Keeper of the Lost Cities!!!!! They're reaaalllllyyy good!!!! And they're clean too. Wll, there might be a tiny bit of rude humor here and there, but they're really good!!!:D I'm glad you like it! :D
    Oh yeah. I realized that I was spelling it one way,and I wanted to change it, so I started spelling it a different way,so I must've forgotten to change the others... If that makes sense. xD
    Hmm.... A twist as in what? I don't really know where I'm going with this story, so ideas are welcomed. :D
    I'm sooooo glad that you're enjoying this!! I thought it was a flop for a bit. XD I should have more coming soon. :)

    over 1 year ago
  • korra4life

    I've never heard of 'Keeper of the Lost Cities' before, so I can't tell you if this is similar, sorry.
    But I really like this! The imagery and the descriptions are amazing!!!!! At first, I was thinking that Erin was getting the hang of this too easily, but I love how as soon as I thought that, she mentioned that she had no idea how she did that either.
    Quick comment, you spelled Cleffnin 2 ways: Cleffnin and Cleffnen. Just wanted to point that out.
    I already like the chemistry between Rowan and Erin but I need a twist somewhere in there (just in case you haven't finished planning or anything yet).
    Everything seems really good so far and I can't wait to keep reading, :D

    over 1 year ago
  • Victoria Penning

    Heh heh.... I have more, but I wasn't really sure if people were interested,so I want sure if I should post more. :/
    Oh dear. Let's hope someday doesn't come soon. ;P

    over 1 year ago
  • Mary Wall

    Really? You had to stop it there? Someday, you will kill me with your cliffhangers!!!!:)

    over 1 year ago