AN: Here is the sequel to War for Meridian's Throne, it's been started a bit sooner than I had planned, been having way too many new ideas in my head lately.

The beta reader for this story is Darev, who was a huge help in War for Meridian's Throne and with his help, we should be in for a great fic! Thanks once again for helping out my friend :D

Disclaimer: Do not own W.I.T.C.H.


Chapter 1: Investigation into an Heir's Past

It had been two months since the end of Meridian's civil war and Phobos' defeat at the hand both his cousin Wilhelmina and the Guardians. This brought about the end of his rebellion against

Queen Susan and restored peace to Meridian. This meant that things could return to the way they were before the war, which was good for the most part. Farmers could plant and harvest their crops without fear of being raided by rebels, as well as regain their farmhands that had joined the fighting for either side; while craftsmen and merchants who had sided with Phobos now where providing their full stock to the public, instead of hoarding the best for the rebels.

Even former soldiers who had fought on both sides of the conflict, former enemies-turned-allies could now offer their skills to the weakened royal guard, thus giving it much needed manpower for both policing the cities and towns, and for providing aid in rebuilding what had been lost in the many battles. Of course, there were still investigations into these soldiers to ensure none might still harbor resentment towards the current ruler, since 13 years of war made it hard to let go of the hatred and mistrust some of former rebels might hold.

There was also looking into how to choose which areas needed more resources since many towns and villages had been raided over the course of the war, and many farm lands been burned in rebel attacks, in the hopes of weakening the Queen's support.

With limited resources, honest merchants and craftsmen lacked the materialsneeded to make items, while the less honest sold items at high prices out of greed and the knowledge that there was high demand.

Along with all of these attempts to rebuild Meridian and ensure no other conspirators were left, there also came the return of the noble houses; many of whom avoided choosing sides during the conflict.

If a noble family had chosen a side, they committed their wealth, their resources, and their own troops to the faction they had chosen, making them critical allies. For this reason, Prince Phobos had tried to convince as many noble houses as possible to join his side by using his sister Elyon as a figurehead.

Susan also tried to convince them to join her, but with the bulk of the royal army behind her, she did not press them, fearing the nobles might take it as a signthat she might be the hidden tyrant Phobos claimed her to be. Of course, this had drawbacks in the form that they could not exercise certain political powers they would have in times of peace. Had they tried, then it could be seen as a form of support for the rebels by making demands of the Queen, yet not giving anything in return. It was this tradeoff that allowed the nobles to safely avoid using their resources in the war, unless when repelling rebel raiders in their own lands.

Now that the war was over though, they were quick to openly swear oaths of loyalty to the 'New Queen' since at the start of the war they could not acknowledge her authority, without said oath. This in return, was now allowing those whom had not supported Susan in the war, to regain the authority they had in the royal court. A limited authority of course, but still gave them the ability to be heard by the Queen in official meetings and enforce certain ancient traditions.

One of these traditions was what had caused many of the noble houses to gather at the Great Meeting Hall, a place where the houses would debate matters of state, before meeting with the Queen and presenting it to her with their views on whatever the topic is. In rare cases, such as the one the nobles were about to discuss, if enough of the gathered nobles agreed with the motion that was about to be presented to them then the Queen would have to abide by it. Such was the law.

The one to summon the great families of Meridian was Lady Adira Silvermane, an aging woman who had seen the end of the reign of both Queen Sade and Queen Weira, making her one of the oldest of nobles on this council. The elderly lady had dark grey hair, done up in a bun. Her skin was very white, but despite her age it was only mildly wrinkled, while her eyes were a grayish-blue, possessing a cold and strict quality. Her attire was that of a dark reddish-brown medieval gown, reflecting her high stature. She was very traditional woman and favored the style of rule of the two previous Queens, making her among the opposition to the current Queen's methods who tended to listen too much about what the people wanted, rather than just making decision based on her own choices...with a little insight from the nobles, of course.

Adira did not agree with the extremely unusual practices Queen Susan followed. Seeking the opinion of commoners was just one of the things she did that many of the nobles disliked, and part of the reason many noble houses did not side with her in the war even if they had believed she was the one telling the truth about Queen Weira's murder at Phobos' hand.

Other reasons were her habit of dressing so plainly by usual standards of rank. Choosing to marry 'Consort' Jaden who Queen Sade, Susan's own mother, had expressly forbidden and most importantly, Susan's clear lack of paying attention to the traditions that the royal family had followed for countless generations. Adira planned on putting an end to this before Queen Susaninstilled too many of these bad habits into Princess Wilhelmina's head who was clearly too much like her mother already.

'Who knows how much that backwater world called Earth might have tainted the girl as well. I clearly must act before the current royal line ruins our great kingdom forever,' Lady Adira thought bitterly while the rest of the nobles sat down, though there was clearly a few vacant spots at the lone table that was in the middle of the great hall's assembly chamber. A few nobles seemed to cast glances at these empty spots, noting they belonged to the few houses that had supported Queen Susan in the war, which would instantly make the other nobles suspicious at what this meeting was about.

Acting quickly to avoid being accused of anything, Lady Adira spoke to her fellow aristocrats, hoping to get them to support her plans on ensuring Meridian's future stability.

"My fellow lords and ladies, I am glad you could all meet me here on such short notice. I know several of our more…prominent members…but I felt more objective views would be needed for the crucial issues I was to bring before you today," Lady Adira explained calmly and seriously to those gathered at the long table. These words clearly caught the attention the council of nobles. She was not disloyal by any means, but still saw Susan as too much of a reformist to really agree with the changes were bound to come now that the war was over.

"The matter I refer to is about the Queen's current heir. One who as we all know, has her mother's followers backing her just as equally and I fear they might not notice the critical weaknesses of the princess until it's too late," Lady Adira explained in a grim tone, now making the other nobles now feel more concerned than curious, given the old nobles rarely spoke about the Queen in such a way, even when she did not approve their methods or habits.

"What weaknesses do you speak of Lady Adira? Most things many of us have noticed we assume is due to her having learned of her true identity only recently, which will only fade with time," One of the lords at the table asked, knowing Lady Adira would not be calling them here for this discussion unless she noticed something the other nobles had not.

"That is what I thought at first as well, but then I noticed inconsistencies in the princess' confidence, which had me being what I thought would a minor investigation into Princess Wilhelmina's past, only to find out she has had…issues…long before even becoming a Guardian or finding out her true heritage, as well as key events concerning her having been downplayed or kept hidden from us by the Queen herself," Lady Adira explained, causing the other lords to mummer amongst themselves for a moment, before looking to the aging Lady in hopes she would go into further detail.

"In my search to find out why the princess has such random levels of confidence are much more serious, she is prone to states of depression and has even runaway once because of it," Lady Adira continued to explain, but did not give the other nobles a chance ask question about that part.

Instead, the aged woman gestured for one of the guards in the hall to bring someone in before she spoke. "But I should start from the beginning before I go into those details. To provide this council with solid evidence of my investigation, I have brought witnesses to each of the events of note; the first being Lieutenant Tolag of her highnesses' royal army. He was present when Queen Susan made first contact with Princess Wilhelmina.

Upon saying this, the grayish and largely-built form of the race of people who commonly joined the army, entered the hall. The actual name of the race Tolag had belonged to had been forgotten, much like most of the races of Meridian over the years they joined together to create a single kingdom under the rule of the Queens. This was meant as a form of unification between the several humanoid beings that made up Meridian's people, from the humanoids (Caleb, Julian, Drake and most of the Royal Family) to the more 'monstrous' ones (Vathek). Only a handful of races still kept their racial name, those being the ones who lived outside of the Queens rule (most Beasts aka shape shifter) or the savage races (Lurdens).

Tolag moved to stand beside Lady Adira and began to explain what he knew about the Guardian Leader/Heir to the Throne.

"The first time I saw Princess Wilhelmina was when Sandpit brought her to the palace…" Tolag started, as memories of that day started coming to the forefront of his mind.



Lord Raythor had ordered Tolag and the other guards to prepare for the Keeper's arrival. He had Tolag and Sandpit positioned at the forefront of the formation with the other men behind; the soldiers wary of danger.

Tolag was one such guard and was gripping his spear tightly; unsure of what would happen once the Guardian arrived. Having heard tales of past Guardians,he imagined a female warrior of unshakeable confidence and incredible power. Of course, once he saw a cowering child to be the one brought, the previous image was shattered and he was silently praying this…thing…was not one of the legendary Guardians.

Tolag and his fellow guards watched Raythor and Sandpit lead the child away. Tolag wondered if the collective wisdom of Candracar has been lost to a curse of some kind, since this girl was clearly too weak to be suited for her role.

'It seems Meridian is on its own against Phobos if this is the best Candracar has to offer as saviors!' Tolag thought, as he marched off to return to his last post, all the while listening to his comrades make jokes at how timid the Keeper of the Heart was and praying the other Guardians were made of stronger stuff.

End of Flashback


"The princess seemed to lack the strength to be a leader or hold the position as Keeper. I admit to hearing stories of her exploitsin fending off the Guards, Lord Raythor, Sandpit and the Queen in the dungeons later that day, but her initial actions on arriving at the palace still make it hard to believe her anything more than a child," Tolag finished explaining, which got him a nod from Lady Adira when he was done.

The rest of the nobles seemed only mildly concerned at this news, since it was back when the princess was bound to have been new to her role as a Guardian. Of course, they knew this must just be the start of Lady Adira's report or she would not have bothered pointing out such a minor event.

After a few moments, a woman entered the hall, one of the servants that worked in the castle and among those who tended Will for the first few weeks before her identity as princess was revealed to everyone at the jousting tournament; the one that technically never officially happened, since the news of finding out their friend was Queen Susan's daughter, caused a fight to break out amongst the Guardians and leading to both the wielders of Water and Air to side with the royal family, while Princess and the Guardians of Earth and Fire remained with the rebellion.

"This is Karen. She discovered much about our princess' past by overhearing many of the minor conversations between the Queen and her daughter, before the Queen announced her true discovered some...disturbing things when overhearing a few of their conversationsfrom a distance," Lady Adira explained, before gesturing Karen to tell her story.

The servant woman looked nervous, but seemed to brace herself quickly and tell her tale, "Though no one specific event is of note to go into detail about, I did tales of the princess' past when the Queen managed to get her to speak of it. It seems the Vandoms…were rather brutal in their raising of Princess Wilhelmina. Though the physical scars have been removed by magic, I can easily see the mental ones that belong to a person who has had a slave-like lifestyle. The princess is clearly insecure about talking about what happened to her and has hinted she has nightmares of those days in the Vandoms' care. I might have heard more details and have better information, but once her identity was revealed, the Queen's personal attendants were given the task of assisting the princess, rather than those of us involved in doing various tasks of caring for the palace."

"Do you know the details of these nightmares? Also when did you hear these conversations? We know her highness Queen Susan would have been careful about revealing Princess Wilhelmina's identity before she was ready to accept the role. It's unlikely she would be careless enough to speak of it when there was a chance she could have been overheard by prying ears," one of the nobles finished saying to Karen as another spoke up.

"I think we would also like to know how a servant girl knows the signs of a person who has lived like a slave. They are rare in our kingdom after all, given many of the last generations of Queens have frowned on the practice," Another noble added, which the council as a whole seemed to agree on all the points asked of the servant, who had made the nobles start to see Lady Adira's concerns of this information was true.

"To answer the question about the nightmares and conversations, they mainly happened at night; when it was my turn out of the group of three to check in on the princess every so often to see if she needed anything. I would often hear the Queen comforting her daughter through the door, hearing things like how the Vandom couple would hang the child in a closet and whip her and other such punishments, which I assume were what the nightmares were about. With the Queen focused on the child, I escaped detection but the door filtered out enough words. I never heard enough to know about their true relationship until the rest of the kingdom did," Karen explained, as she answered the first lord's question while bracing herself for the second one.

"As for how I know what a former slave would act like…I was one when I was younger than even the princess is now, back when the mother of Queen Susan, Queen Sade, ruled over Meridian. Lord Balkan was one of the nobles at the time that secretly forced his servants into slavery and did so for many years until Queen Sade discovered it and freed us. I remember how many of us were very timid and quick to obey commands even when there was no danger of punishment. The princess showed signs of recovery, but would also relapse into a meek state when she was scared or depressed, another thing I myself took most of my life to overcome,"

The servant girl replied, making it clear in the eyes of the nobles, Karen was as close to an expert on slave habits as they were going to find.

The nobles clearly looked disgusted at the new of what the Vandoms had done to the Queen's only heir, but at the same time now were concerned for Meridian's future. If said heir would be prone to such moments of weakness when things grew difficult...

But as her fellow nobles started to get ready to voice their opinions on what they had heard so far, she made it a point to show that her evidence was not done just yet.

"My fellow ladies and lords, despite what you have heard so far, there is still much to tell so please bear with me a while longer before you ask any questions on how we should address this issue," Lady Adira requested, before calling in another witness.

This time, it was an old man, using a walking stick to slowly make his way to Lady Adira's side.

"This is one of the village leaders from the valley attacked by Lurdens several months ago. It was also where Queen Susan was placed under the control of the Horn of Hypnos. This man will explain what he witnessed the princess doing at the pivotal moment at the end of the battle against the Queen," Lady Adira explained, before motioning for the elder to speak.

"My lords and ladies, I hope you will pardon an old man for speak ill of her highness, Princess Wilhelmina, but her act of cowardice and unwillingness to go through with her duty was unacceptable," The Elder told the nobles before beginning his story.



The elder was watching the battle between the joint forces of Princess Wilhelmina, her bodyguard Caleb, her two friends (Irma and Hay Lin) and the rebels' best magic users (Taranee, Cornelia, Shagon, Ember, Tridart, Lynx and Elyon) against the Queen, who was under the control of the accursed Horn of Hypnos.

The eleven-on-one battle seemed to go on forever; the queen was an unstoppable juggernaut while under the horn's control, while the massive numbers against the Queen just seemed to not able to land a blow that would end the battle.

It was not difficult for the elder to surmise thatthe supporters of the Queen and the rebels were not out to kill their target, just halting her advance. It was a mistake in the old man's eyes.

'The princess must do what many a princess have needed to do in ancient times, put down a threat for the sake of Meridian,' The elder thought, while keeping his head down from all the magic attacks.

After several combined attacks, it's seemed the temporary allies had finally weakened the Queen enough to finish her barely standing body.

This was when he witnessed what he thought was an act of cowardice and neglect on the duties of a princess. He saw her bodyguard go into battle in the princess's place, while she just cried and screamed out for Caleb to stop.

It was only thanks a great deal of luck that the boy's father appeared and broke the horn's spell with a tune of some kind, but the old man knew that despite this, the current heir to the throne was unfit to have the titles of both princess and heir since she clearly put what she wanted ahead of the needs of the people this day.

End Flashback


"Many of my fellow villagers have shunned me and my wisdom ever since since I speak ill of our so-called princess. The spirits of our ancestors must feel ashamed of such a weak creature sharing their bloodline," The elder stated, as he finished his tale.

Many of the nobles had mixed feelings about the aging man's beliefs, given they might see it as huge a crime for an abused child to be able to carry out a princess' duty to stop a Queen who threatened the people, especially when said Queen had not truly turned on their world.

This duty a princess would normal carry out, was started long ago when an evil Queen ruled with an iron fist and her oldest child took it upon herself to steal the power of Meridian by force.

Upon stealing the power, she imprisoned her mother for the rest of her life in cell deep in the depths of the palace's underground dungeons, while her younger siblings were banished to the outskirts of Meridian after being stripped of their magic.

These siblings would later found the Shadow Mages years later, the ones who created the tablets Phobos used to give birth to the Knights of Destruction. They also were the ones to create and power Orgoth and died doing so before the powerful golem killed the one who had banished its creators form their home in the castle.

It was all this that created the tradition of an heir to be the one to keep a corrupt Queen in check and deal with said Queen as they saw fit.

Of course, the nobles still had to take into account because their princess could not do this, it meant the current safeguard against a corrupt rule was nonexistent...not that Queen Susan seemed like the corrupt type of course, but it was still a serious matter Princess Wilhelmina was not able carry out this duty in the off chance it was required of her.

"Thank you for sharing this tale with us elder, please join the others while we finish the rest of this meeting, "Lady Adira instructed the elder, who nodded and headed out the hall, while Lady Adira stood up and said she would tell the last piece of critical information about their princess and how she might not be fit to be the heir.

"There was no one person suited to explain the story of the princess' attempt to run away from our world, so I will relay all information I gathered from the various soldiers who were willing to explain what happened. For the other soldiers, I had to exercise certain powers invested in this council to have them not give the Queen forewarning until we made our decision here," Lady Adira explained, before she went on with her report.

"After the battle against her mother, Princess Wilhelmina gained control over the Light of Meridian and became the acting queen, while her mother recovered from her injuries. Following this, she and Caleb planned an assault in the rebel base in the Infinite City, leading her to do battle with Phobos in his counter attack, losing almost all of the Light while doing so. This caused one of her worse states of depression and she believed she must leave Meridian. The good news is she managed to find Consort Jaden by accident while doing this and thus both he and Queen Susan managed to get her to remain...but given all this evidence, is that for the best?" Lady Adira asked at the end of her report.

Her fellow nobles clearly looked disturbed by all this information since it clearly seemed Princess Wilhelmina might be unfit to one day rule their kingdom. She might serve better in a supportive role, but not as the true heir.

The only issue was what could they about the crisis?

"I assume you all can see we need to address this matter quickly or our next ruler might cause us have setbacks in our recovery from the war. In theory, Meridian should be completely stable by the time the princess succeeds her mother, but a weak ruler is never good for anyone. So I propose we exercise our right to call the Right of Succession Trials for Wilhelmina and have her prove us wrong. If she fails, we can move to test Princess Elyon as well, and thus place her on the throne in her cousin's place," Adira told her fellow nobles, who seemed shocked at this proclamation.

The Succession Trials were used by the very same tyrant queen that was overthrown by her own child. That particular Queen believed in having a strong heir, so made each of her children go through deadly trials to prove their strength, by making them do these deadly tests without their magic.

Since those days, the trials were still used but not in the same way. Queens only placed the most direct heirs in them and they were rarely as dangerous. In the event a ruler chose to not place their heir in the trials, the nobles had the right force them upon the future queen.

"So this is why you wished to leave out Queen Susan's supporters from this gathering. They would have certainly stopped us from exercising this plan for as long as they could and thus warn her highness and the princess. This would possibly give Princess Wilhelmina months to prepare or worse, Queen Susan could gather enough support from the people to force us to halt the trials," one noble stated coldly, knowing their current ruler was somewhat a reformist and had a bad history with the trials.

Queen Sade had always known her second daughter was a 'black sheep' and thus tried to rig the trial against Queen Susan. It was rare to test children past the initial heir, but not unheard of to do so if the ruler deemed it necessary. The trials were often tailored to each princess (or prince on the rare occasion) to test either weakness of the one being tested or affirm key skills a ruler might need was processed by said test.

Queen Susan's test though was aimed at making sure she failed, by putting her into an arena and having several guards attack in her one at a time. The plan backfired though when the dark haired woman proved to have better fighting skills and physical conditioning than was expected from a princess, and so Queen's Sade's plan failed from having too few men in place to drain away Susan's stamina and defeat her.

'She was not a true warrior, but hardly unskilled by many standards. We should be more cautious when it comes to testing her daughter in case her time as a Guardians and citizen of that backwater world called Earth might have taught her skills we might not have foreseen,' The same noble who had last spoken said, while Lady Adira once again addressed the council of nobles.

"That is exactly my reason in doing so. Now I put to the gathered council, should we go through with the trials or shall we risk letting a possibly unfit ruler to one day gain the throne?" The aging woman asked those before her, who all called out they agreed with proposal and thus, began plot to put their princess through a test that decide her future and push her to her physical and mental limits.


AN: And there is the first chapter folks, hope you will enjoy the story.