Monday, March 24, 2014

House of the Forsaken

Before Daurian there appeared a faint shadow.  It spoke to him in the soft voice of a young girl, saying, “Have you come to destroy us?  Why so?”  A sound came like weeping.  The sound multiplied all around him, and ere long legions of silhouettes of man and fæ and chimera formed all throughout the darkened cathedral.
The girl’s voice whispered, “If you banish Shacor, we too will suffer the Nether.  No mercy will be shown us; no grace given.  We will face the Wrath for all eternity.”
The wailing deepened as it also echoed through the lofty citadel.
“Daurian,” cried a familiar voice.  Daurian whipped his head this way and that, until his eyes rested on a single Shade, one that stood apart from the rest.  “Do you know who I am?” it said in a tender voice, now standing before him.  A draft passed through the Shade and to Daurian, carrying with it as it passed the sweet scent of clover blossoms.
Tears sprung into his eyes.  “Mother.”  When he moved to embrace her he instead passed through.  “I am so, so sorry I left you,” he wept.  “If I could undo one thing in my life so far, it would have been that.”  The tears cascaded and he found himself fighting for air.  “I would take that back in a heartbeat.”
“It is too late now to undo what has been done,” said the Shade of Nannali, “but you can atone for your desertion, if you only save us from the Nether.”
Daurian looked on the Shade with hopelessness.  “Mother, I am powerless in the face of Eternity, benevolent or malevolent.”
“There is a way that you may gain some sway in the Empire of the Dead,” said the Shade.  “Supplicate to the Lord of the Damned every full moon, and he will deliver unto you one who you love and have lost.”
Daurian could not utter a word.
“Will you not do this for me, Daurian?  For your father and infant sister?  Would you allow us all to perish in cold flame?”
Still he was silent.
“Make your answer ere the ascent of the black sun.”
The doors of the cathedral swung open with creaking, and the Shades were swept away like pillars of smoke in the wind.

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