Written by Applebaby12
Note: This is an incomplete story; mostly just jotting down main plot points. It is only a story outline.
This story takes place in the Lost Cities, however it is a different universe from the main books. So Sophie, Fitz, Keefe, etc don't exist. I've also taken sme creative liberties with the world here, so keep that in mind.
Ciara is a 14-year-old Exillium Wayward in the Right hemisphere. She lives in the woods in a little cabin with her two parents in the neutral territories, and has been attending Exillium since Level Two. She is a tall girl with light caramel hair, ice-blue eyes, and slight freckles. Ciara is Talentless at the beginning of the story and worries that she'll never Manifest despite her parents both having Abilities.
Her father is a Conjurer who owns an apothecary which sells firestarters for Aurenflares and Balefire, etc among other things. Before being banished, he was one of the only shops who sold these.
The reason she attends Exillium is because her father was suspected of starting a huge fire in Mysterium, as he was the only person witnesses saw after the fire had started, and traces of one of the firestarters he sells in his store were found at the crime scene. Ciara knows that he was trying to put out the flames, along with her mother, who' is a Hydrokinetic, but the Council didn't think her word was enough. However, there wasn't enough evidence to send him to Exile, so they only banished him until further notice. Ciara and her mother could've stayed in the Lost Cities, but they joined him, knowing that there was no way he was guilty.
Ciara is extremely bitter about this and holds a deep hatred for the Council and the Lost Cities. She doesn't like going to Exillium much, but appreciates the Skills she learns there, especially since she doesn't know if she's going to get an Ability.
One day a new Wayward appears in the Right hemisphere donning an Ability Pin that Ciara's never seen before. She wants to approach him but doesn't fancy getting in trouble. However, when she catches him stealing an extra piece of fruit at lunch, she can't help but confront him while he's sitting at a table alone.
The new kid is surprised to hear that they were only allowed one. He strikes Ciara as strange because he doesn't really seem to understand the rules and why everyone's so hostile. She's curious about him, since he seems more like a Foxfire Prodigy than a Wayward, but eventually leaves him alone, deciding that he wasn't just being greedy.
When Ciara shows up the next day, she is once again drawn to the strange Wayward when she sees how terrible he is at Telekinesis, the skill most Waywards are taught first. He doesn't recognize her, because there are many other Talentless students and he only has her pin to go off of, but he does remember her voice once she speaks to him. He tell her his name, Anlon, and she gives him hers as well and gives him pointers on how to use Telekinesis. Anlon reveals that he's an Inflictor.
They sit together at lunch, and Ciara likes that she's able to rebel against the Coaches (and by extent, the Council,) even in such a little way. Anlon, of course, has no idea that Waywards aren't really supposed to interact. She marks her robe with fruit juce so that he's able to know who she is if he needs to.
After a few days of hanging out during lunch and lessons, a shorter student with a Beguiler Ability pin demads to know what they're up to. Ciara is surprised by her boldness and confidence. The Beguiler tells them that if they're planning something, she wants in; she doesn't care what it is. Ciara likes her rebelliousness and lets her sit with them. Both Laila and Anlon are Level Fours.
At home, Ciara and her parents are visited by a family friend, Maxime, a Shade who likes to stop by and drop off food and supplies for them from the Lost Cities. He's one of the only elves who knows where they reside, and Ciara thinks of him as one of the only 'good' elves currently living in the Lost Cities.
For the next week or so, the three get along great despite not knowing what eachother looks like. The Beguiler's name is Laila. Anlon was still confused as to why the two girls are making such a big deal about sitting together, and Laila explains that they're not supposed to speak with other Waywards, as it's supposedly too dangerous. The Coaches have been giving them dirty looks and seem to be planning to intervene. The three agree to ignore the Coaches' attempts to split them up. Anlon invites Ciara and Laila to where he's staying, and she accepts.
The trio meet after class where they reveal their faces, and Ciara's surprised to see that Laila is a petite, beautiful blonde girl with sky-blue eyes; she'd began to believe that the Beguiler was actually two trolls in an Exillium robe. Anlon is also quite attractive with purple-blue eyes and dark hair.
Ciara finds out that Anlon lives in a big, stylish two-story house, not as fancy as the ones in the Lost Cities, but certainly more so than her little two-room cabin her dad built. When asked, he explains that he's only attending Exillium for half a year for "the experience," as well as to help him with his Skills. Ciara can't understand why he'd chose to go to Exillium, but Anlon just shrugs and tells her that it's tradition in his family.
Laila was actually banished, unlike Anlon. When Level Three Midterms came around, she felt extremely pressured by her family to do well on the test, but she was not a great student and resorted to cheating. She tried using her Ability on her Beguiling Mentor, but being much more experienced, her Mentor recognized that she was being duped and called for a Tribunal. Laila suspected that they'd suspend her from attending Foxfire, and tried to Beguile the Council, which obviously failed, resulting in her banishment.
Ciara gives her story about the fire, and Anlon realizes that his father, and important Emissary, had worked on that case. At first she's angry, accusing his dad of being part of the reason she was there, but Anlon's father, who's name is Emrys, had actually voted against banishment since there wasn't enough conclusive evidence. Anlon even wonders why the Council would've accused Ciara's father, since it would make no sense for him to stick around after setting a fire. He tells her that the whole thing has been bothering his dad since the fire happened two years ago, as he hates the idea of an innocent family living in banishment.
The morning after meeting her friends face-to-face, Ciara Manifests as a Guster. She's thrilled to have an Ability, though she has trouble controlling it at first.
That day, Anlon tells her that he told his father about meeting her, and that he wants to help prove her dad's innocence. Ciara has no clue how he plans to do this, but is surprised that he cares so much after only knowing her for a short amount of time; not even Maxime or other friends of the family had been so dedicated. The trio begin to meet after school at his house almost every day, and Anlon is dead set on finding out who actually caused the fire.
Ciara mentions that if they do get in trouble, Anlon's Inflicting would come in handy, but he reveals that he actually had no clue how to use his Ability. He was never actually taught how to Inflict; instead he was taught how to control his powers until it was almost like he didn't have them. He's also never angry enough to Inflict effectively, as living a generally happy life with few struggles has made it difficult for him to ever take things seriously.
Since Ciara has only just Manifested, the two decide to start training to hone their Abilities together, while Laila helps them. Unlike Anlon and Ciara, Laila was quite good at Beguiling.
Eventually, they discover through Anlon's dad that one woman was seriously injured during the fire. Her mind broke, and the Council assumed it was from the trauma; this had been kept a secret from the general public. However, Emrys suspected that a Memory Break had been performed on her based on what the Telepath described when he probed her mind. They wondered why someone would need to break her memories, and Laila suggested that perhaps she was hiding something that someone else needed to know. Though this information was interesting, Ciara was irritated that they still weren't close to finding out who had caused the fire.
A few days later, Maxime visits Ciara's family again as usual, and asks to speak to her. He reveals that it was him who started the fire; he claims that it was an accident, and he was so guilty over unintentionally getting her father banished that he had been trying to make up for it, which was why he always brought the family supplies. Maxime begs her not to tell the Council until he can come up with a way to explain what happened. Flustered by all this, Ciara agrees, and he leaves.
However, Ciara isn't so eager to believe that Maxime was innocent. She had many questions; why had he confessed so soon after they started to look into things? Why did Maxime confess to her specifically, and not her parents? And what about the woman with the broken mind, the only elf who was injured in the fire; what was her significance?
She mentioned this to Anlon and Laila after school the next day, who agreed that it was sketchy. Laila even pointed out that if he was so guilty, why hadn't his mind shattered from it?
As they were talking, they started hearing noises from outside Anlon's house. Laila left to go investigate, deciding that since she had the most control over her Ability, she would be able to Beguile any threats. After a few minutes, they hear someone enter through the door. Assuming it's Laila, Ciara and Alon go down to meet her.
Instead, it's Maxime, and Ciara's worst fears are confired. He's surrounded the house with Shadowflux, trapping the two of them inside.
Maxime reveals that he'd been watching the family for some time, as well as her, Anlon, and Laila, and didn't like that they'd found out about the woman with the broken mind. He'd hoped that Ciara was dumb enough to believe his story; or smart enough not to stick her nose in his business.
Maxime does admit that he never meant to frame Ciara's father, since he respected him and was fond of his family, including her, but it ended up working out so well for him that he didn't feel too guilty.
He promises that he'll be less sloppy next time, but is sorry that her an Anlon would have to die because of his mistake.
He begins to close the Shadowflux around them, and they start to suffocate, until the fluid begns to dissapate. After taking a second to get back on their feet, they realize that Laila was trying to Beguile Maxime into letting them go. It almost works until he snaps out of it upon catching Ciara and Anlon trying to escape.
Now that she's outside, Ciara is able to use the wind to hold off Maxime's Shadowflux, but is starting to lose her control. Laila attempts to Beguile him again, but he ignores her, too focused on trying to apprehend Ciara. Suddenly he stumbles to the ground in pain, and the Shadowflux fades. Anlon was able to Inflict enough pain to make him stop.
Ciara and Anlon hail their parents while Laila makes another attempt to Beguile him, which works this time. Since Anlon's father is an Emissary, he's able to alert the Council and explain what happened. Maxime confesses thanks to Laila's Beguiling (side note: when being Beguiled, a subject is unable to confess to something they didn't do)
The Council members, feeling immense guilt for sentencing Ciara's father for a crime he didn't do, welcomes them back into the Lost Cities with open arms. Ciara is slightly distrusting still, but their sincerity pushed her to decide to forgive them. However, it's on the condition that they also allow Laila to also return to the Lost Cities for saving Ciara and Anlon's life.
As Maxime is released from his Beguiled state and apprehended by the Goblin bodyguards, he realizes what happened and is furious. He is able to taunt Ciara that there are "more of him," and that she had no idea what enemies she'd just made for herself.
At first Ciara and her friends are shocked to hear this, but their resolve strengthens and they agree that no matter what, the three of them will have eachother's backs and will do whatever they can to stop whatever evil force still remains in the Lost Cities.
The story ends with Ciara reflecting on what had happened that year, and how she is confident that she'll be able to face whatever challenges come up as long as she has her newfound friends by her side. She acknowledges that there is likely more to come, but whatever happens, Ciara, Anlon, and Laila will be ready.