Of course, Snape was a center piece to other peoples discussion of this topic so I mention him at the end.
Finally after 15 years of working on these two books (jesu?!) I have working titles!!
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"Yet something has to be done."
Leaning against his parent's door, Nathanael's ear is pressed against it to hear better the conversation taking place within.
"The council is becoming restless; politics are keeping us away more often. Who will care for him?"
"Thom is here, he will do his duty as his husband to look after him, it cannot be helped we are away so much Elaina."
"Yes with Thom he will be alright but...Can-," a moment's silence, "Can we really trust him around Drefan? What if Drefan hurts him again? I do not know if he would tell us." My mother’s voice held soft doubt.
"What could you possibly mean; he would, of course, tell us if he was in pain. Have we ever given him a reason not to believe he could?"
"Nay of course not but this is something else entirely. Earlier when I was cleaning his wounds I found a cut down his left arm, a cut that could only have been self-inflicted. His other wounds were nothing like this from Drefan."
"Our son is a cutter? Nathanael knows that he will lose the light of his spirit to such...perverse practices. He must realize without the light of soul he is only a shell, a..a Monster."
"You..heard Peter say that?" Elaina whispers to her only child, her hands reaching out toward the nine-year-old.
There is only silence as Nathanael's eyes fall to the floor.
The Queen gathers the boy into her embrace, "Sometimes those we love say things because they are afraid."
The Prince's eyes are filled with tears at his own anger, willing himself to banish the vile emotions he was taught he should not feel. He looks up to his mother trying to hide how upset he was,"What have I done? I hurt no-no one but me! He's my father, he shouldn't be afraid of me!"
"He's not afraid of you Nathanael, he's afraid for you."
As though that simple difference made the pain any less deep.
As Cawson, Andriano, and Cohen note, acknowledgement of the monster is a necessary step in human development because in all ways it is human... Thus, a society must transcend the limitations of the past by discovering ways to include the unique until, ultimately, everything that is inherently human can be acknowledged and incorporated, including those aspects we often attribute to the monstrous in a misdirected attempt to exorcise ourselves of sin and imperfection. Monsters are the way to this transcendence.~
Wasting away, that was the hardest part of it, watching him die. I had thought the knowledge that his death was on my hands would hound me far worse then this, the physical representation of it all. But no, the wheezing breaths, the shut, dull eyes were much, much worse.
The grey pallor that would give way to blue, the poor circulation that Thom already had only making the transformation from living to dead that much quicker. Nathanael is whispering to him, clutching his hand, making promises, as if the future matters at all.
My grief has never been easy, it has always transformed itself into something more, the bitterness twisting it into rage. Always I would attempt to shift the blame, to put that hate on someone else, anyone else but me. If the grief turned to rage, and rage into hatred, I could push away all of these actualities.
Thom was going to die today, and I could blame everyone under the sun, but that wasn’t going to change the fact that this was going to destroy me.
I’ve never been a happy person, my people call me their ‘Bitter Prince’ for a number of reasons, and it was in his smile that the rays of hope shone. But there would be no hope, no dreams, not after this. I was the last one of us, father - deceased, mother - deceased, and now Thom who die as well.
Where did that leave our people?
Where did that leave me?
I feel it before I see it, as my eyes are starring at the infirmary wall, and I force myself to look down as Nathanael begins to cry, head buried in my brother’s chest.
It’s over, and I’m alone.
My head snaps up, as agony wracks through my mind, and that voice, that comfort I have depended upon for these last three years is panicking. The breaths that come are faltering, stuttering as I feel myself rise from Thom’s bedside. The darkness envelops me once again, and I allow myself to snap free from the tethers of this reality.
It looms below us, the Abyss, and this time I do not feel it as my body rears up from the bedside, back hitting the wall as shudders wrack every one of my limbs. Digits have dug into pockets, and the black diamond nearly spills from my fingertips as it is loosened from the material coverings.
Held up now, I can see the black diamond sitting upon my open palm over my brother’s body and my lips open. Yes, the words are my own, and yet they are not only mine, two voices leak free, and they overlay the words that we need to say.
“I won’t be left behind. I won’t be made to be alone. These are not my sins, I will not be damned! Purple skies…and broken glass…”
Endless seas and memories of the past,
Purple skies and broken glass,
Shattered minds, where there is no rest,
Hatred and grief, that breaks the best of us.
Thom’s soul rose from the body on that bed, a ball of glowing white light. It would be captured then, filling the black diamond. Never be alone…
In a moment of control, and with such reverence and tenderness, contrary to the way my body seemed to quiver and jerk, would I slip that diamond away into my pocket. Safe.
With that act complete we surged forward, around the bed, and our darkness did not only crawl its way up our limbs, no, now it wrapped around us in flames. Black leaking purple, climbing and falling as the infirmary melted away into the castle’s main hall.
They would scream, and they would beg and plead, they would know what it meant to lose my brother, my mother, and the people I had only ever wanted to defend!
All there was now, was that hypnotic fire, rising into the night that had eclipsed this noontime sunlight, taking with it all that stood in our way, all that brought us to this day.
Enraged yells, and so many screams.
Laughter fills the air, a maniacal sound, the laughter of the deranged, and it’s owner… its progenitor is me.
As Mankind is bound to Time,
The Ellaern are bound to Fate.
So the descendants of the Two,
Will be fettered to them both.
~ The Vita.S (Book of Sacred Life)
Each individual Ellearn has a unique and in-commensurable Destiny that determines their proper course in life. Having a Destiny meant that the Ellearn were bound to Fate, which decided one’s allotted years, and the extent of one’s life span. As with Destiny complete, the Ellearn begins to shimmer and finally, peacefully, passes on.
"Live following your Destiny, that essential nature deep within that is the will of Fate and your endpoint. Once yours or others decrees have been finished, rejoice as the life journey comes to a close."
To understand and act upon one’s Fate is the ultimate goal of an Ellearn’s life. Fate directs the individual towards Destiny and Ellearn philosophy fills them with the joy of accomplishing what they were meant to accomplish. Each individual Destiny cherished and cultivated as to conform to the decree of one’s personal Destiny preserves each person’s authentic singularity (and individuality.) “For nothing is as good as bringing about what has been decreed by the Divine, for what Fate has decreed is called nature and nothing is as good as realizing one’s Destiny and seeing it through.”
To love one’s Fate is to accept it and relish in it, yet this outlook should not be mistaken for fatalism. To the Ellearn it is very important to reject fatalism. There should be a joyous acceptance of the singular Fate that makes each Ellearn a unique individual. This joy is born from the fact that there is wiggle room within the bounds of Fate, as Fate is open to the full scope of people’s strategy and ingenuity in maneuvering through ones Fated span.
There should be no resignation in the heart of an Ellearn, only a sense of welcomed certainly for what is to come. One should actively engage in the future, not just resign your-self to what is to come. The possibility of knowing Fate meant that one should bring it to fruition through active participation and effort, cultivating ones Fated span.
The goal of such a view was to force the Ellearn to focus on the important things they could control such as cultivating their own and their families destinies whilst avoiding, thinking upon those things they could not control. These uncontrollable things would be wealth, life-span and societal position (class) as these are dictated by others so they should not be concerned with. This philosophy was a wish to change the Ellearn people’s views of what is and is not important, and to redirect people’s energy and efforts from those external concerns to the important internal concerns (family and the self.)
Those who resent their Fate cannot change it, they will simply not learn from their experiences, and will only have a hardening heart. "To attempt to destroy the natural outcome of one or another’s fate will end in disastrous results, and those who do not follow their destinies distort their heart and ruin many lives."
Fate is duty; it is purpose and inevitability of the change in the Universe. "We may regard the present state of the Universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future." All Destinies are linked through patterns in the stars, and tied then to astrology. Fate is seen as a decree by the Gods, giving oneself an opportunity to tie themselves through their Destiny to the Destiny of the world itself.What is Destined is under the control of Fate and there are no ethical calculations involved. “As our Destiny is out of our hands, an Ellearn should never be judged upon his Fate.”
Fate from the view point of those it affects is either normative or destructive, and one works as best as they can within its bounds to correct it, but must ultimately understand that Fate is more powerful than we and as pieces upon the Divine board we simply play our parts.
I prayed for forgiveness.
I prayed for strength.
And I wished, and I prayed, and I hoped..
I could learn not be a monster anymore…
- A Child’s Prayer
Nathanael has a background of the acceptance of fate as the Ellearn all have destinies. In this way, he is no more special than the rest of his ancestors and for this reason, the idea of accepting his own demise is normalcy. Drefan, who was his biggest influence as a child, is human and comes from a background that says, 'Fuck Fate' (though this would change in Drefan's later life,) and this duality leaves Nath pretty confused. Nathanael clings to his own fatalistic and self hating tendencies in his resignation of what is to come. 'I deserve this. I'm just a monster; perhaps through this fate I will be redeemed.'
However, this outlook is actually incorrect even to the Ellearn, this fate bound species do not believe in simply laying back and allowing fate to do what it will. Ellearn philosophy states that you work with fate, that you strive to fulfill your destiny, but in a manner that is correct to yourself. This allows fulfillment of not only the Gods plans but your own within that fated framework.
Death through Martyrdom would be Absolution for his Sins - An Adolescent’s Hopes.
This comes to be understood by Nathanael, at last, toward the end of his fifteenth year. The Prince begins to understand that yes, there is give and take within his fate. He must defeat Drefan, yes, that is his destiny, but Reinn wants him to kill Drefan. Yet, the destiny only says 'Defeat' so Nathanael can choose to save Drefan instead. His acceptance of his fate morphs in and of itself alongside his own character growth. He evolves from a child who resigns himself to terrible comings because he believes he has no right to stop what is coming; to a young person who says, 'I will play your game, but I will play it by my rules and even if you win, I will have no regrets that I pushed, and I strived and I did everything in my power to make this fate right.'
Nathanael would go on to play to his own strengths, unwilling to give up his own scruples to fulfill destiny. He knows destiny must be completed, so he says, 'Even if I go about this a bit unorthodox, fate will be fulfilled.' So the adolescent takes oaths of Non-violence and Peace so he does not ever harm anyone himself. Alongside this, he takes a vow of Poverty so that his Guardians on the road back to the throne will not have to protect him as these oaths give him divine protection.
As a Death Dweller, he comes to accept his death not only fatalistically, but as an abstract concept (becoming the avatar of the God of Death.) This is done through the fact that Nathanael is more than willing to allow himself to die, yet will fight the God of Death to hell and back for the lives of his Guardians who are his friends. For this stubborn and determined strength the God of Death gives Nathanael 9 lives, and with each death Nath accepts his impending death with less resignation.
Though in further character growth, time passes and after the Prince regains the throne and becomes a parent of three children, Nathanael becomes angry at the thought of his final death as he now is leaving his babies with no mother. Oh Nath gets very angry at his fate at last in the few months before his foretold death at the end of the series, not for his own sake, no, but for his children and his kingdom that is still in ruins and needs a King.
Coming around full circle, Nathanael has accepted his destiny, he won’t fight his fate, yet that anger remains. As the eighteen year old lies dying, he realizes that he is allowed, after all those years of adherence to a script that would end with his death, to think that, 'You know what? I didn't actually deserve any of this.'
Cor’Terrae Has -
33 Hours in a Day
21 Days in a Month.
253 Days in a Year.
12 Months in a Year.
12 months = 21 days for 11 months, with 1 day added to month of the Winter Solstice.
7 days a week (Which makes 3 weeks in a month.)
These numbers are explained in the Cosmology.
The Main Continent is in the southern hemisphere, with the deserts of the northlands (Diria and Zene) at the equator. So the seasons and months correspond to a southern climate (As in Our Australia/South America/Africa.)
Consequently Summer is from December to March and Winter is from June to September.
The separate Empire’s would have their own respective calendars, however, the Holy Camarian Empire is the center of the stories so the dates will follow the Camarian calendar.
These months were made from a mix of Welsh, Old English and my Elvish (Sere’th) as the common tongue of the Camarian Empire is Gaelian, which is a mixture of Welsh and English. The nobles speak Gaelian Trom which is Old English, so the months have ended up with a bastardized mixture of the three languages and have stayed this way ever sense.
The Summer Solstice and the First Day of Summer is Gwanlote 21st.
1st Month - Cynteya (Beginning of Summer)
2nd Month - Meheleire (Midsummer)
4th Month - Zwngahaf (The End of Summer)
Autumnal Equinox - Zwngahaf 21st
5th Month - Haeeren (Harvest, Named after Goddess of Nature)
6th Month - Nn’harsal (Autumn, Named after God of Death/Souls)
7th Month - Pyrmogae (Of Dusk, Loss of the Sun)
Winter Solstice - Pyrmogae 21st
8th Month - Gaesneira (Winter/Snow)
9th Month - Neivorlyng (Spring Start)
10th Month - Hrethsos (Fierce Winds)
Spring Equinox - Hrethsos 1st or 2nd
11th Month - Matarshae (Rains, Named after the God of Water)
12th Month - Gwanlote (Blossoms Blooming)
Summer Solstice - Gwanlote 21st
The Winter Solstice is on Pyrmogae 21st.
The extra day each year is the 22nd of Pyrmogae.
Gorfanaur (Of Dry Hopes - The Celebration of The Summer Solstice and the New Year in Camara)
Gwanlote 21st is also the last day of the previous year, known as the ‘Longest Day’, and is an auspicious holiday devoted to new beginnings. In the cities a fair takes place that celebrates the Goddess of Music, Rina Linn and the God of the Sun Nau’ar. Dancing is had and music is played in the streets and good will is a plenty in the cities.
In the towns and villages however, so dependent on the leniency of the God of the Sun for their crops, there is little celebration and much veneration. The God of the Sun and Fire is known too as the God of Power and it is in his nature to be selfish and vain. If dances or prayers are given up they are made to Nau’ar only as these communities offer ritual sacrifices of some of healthiest cattle and sheep to appease him.
Nostrildom (Of Night Stars - The Celebration of Midwinter in Camara)
The week of Pyrmogae 14th to 21st is celebrated as Midwinter by the Holy Camarian Empire with the 21st being the Longest Night, where The God of Light won over the God of Darkness. This is of religious importance to the day that follows, the ill received 22nd. One candle is lit on the 14th in all homes that celebrate, and this pattern is continued until the 21st. On the Longest Night there will be seven candles to protect the inhabitants of the home from the darkness and evil that will be most powerful that night and the following day.
The Goddess of Stars Clerics and Holy warriors all keep vigil from dusk to dawn each night of this week, kneeling before Sila Vor’s statue. Prostate they remain, with their heads to the floor upon cobblestone of her temple. There is a fast during these hours for these men and women who protect.
On the final night, the Longest Night of the 21st in the Imperial Castle the most beautiful Elven woman in the city is chosen to represent the Goddess of the Stars and Elves. Her face is hidden by a veil as the Goddess’s beauty is so, that no mortal can see it and survive. Wrapped in silks and lace, this Elven maiden plays her part and is nearly captured by the God of Darkness Nanqa, a man painted as an ebony demon. He dances around her, seducing her away with whispered promises and evil intent from the the half angel who shines, representing the God of Light, Reinn Anon. This half angel who is the husband of Sila Vor protects the maiden from the Dark God Nanqa, capturing the loathsome God and collaring the demon, signifying that life is preserved and protected for another year.
Through the castle into the city streets the three parade, Reinn Anon protecting his beloved, shielding her and marching the imprisoned Nanqa to the Grand cathedral where Nanqa will be locked inside a man-sized cage. Cloth of darkest and thickest black will be thrown over the demon to re-enact the God of Darkness being vanquished and banished far out into the void where he could never return. The King or Queen would then lead prayers in thanks to the King and Queen of Heaven (Reinn Anon and Sila Vor) upon the balcony of the Imperial Castle and the evening will end with dancing and merriment.
As a Side Note: The celebration has been calmed by the Royal Family in the last twenty years, whereas prior, Nanqa’s player being a demon was not symbolic. The Church would find a demon born and force them to play the part, heavily collared, where he would be sacrificed within the God of Light’s Grand Cathedal as a clear sign of Reinn Anon’s superiority and power over the God of Darkness.
Pynzanqa (Gate of Darkness - The Extra Day in Camara)
The most superstitious and feared day of each year follows on the coat-tails of the Winter Solstice in the Camarian Empire. Pyrmogae is the only month of the year to have 22 days, and many Camarians consider this 22nd day to be very ill luck, and most dare not leave their homes for fear of demons and the Dark God, Nanqa. If anyone must leave their homes they do so swathed in a cloak, with faces hidden by masks that were worn for the Winter Solstice celebrations the night before. These disguises are used to hide not only those who are afraid of being found by demons but also by those with ill intent.
As so few individuals are willing to go out on this day, the 22nd ofPyrmogae is considered a day of anarchy where abuses of the law are many: murder, adultery, intoxication, and theft abound. Holy Paladins of Reinn Anon’s Light are called to keep order in the many cities of the Empire through out this grim day.
"Do you love him?" the ten year old tilts his head, allowing the sand to fall through his fingertips. Nathanael’s sister stills at the simple question, her bone thin digits dragging over the driftwood. It had been a quiet day of discovery, her brother’s agoraphobia conquered so as to allow them to explore the coast.
Time drags as Nilec’s psyche is assaulted with what the question asks. Swamped by the joyful laughter of the vampire she professed to being engaged, but love was never written into this script. Nathanael’s hand reaches out toward the rumpled form, but before sickly hands can brush the surface of sweater draped skin, the answer is finally said.
"….It is more complicated then that, little brother," Nilec’s pine greens slip from ocean expanse to face the youthful boy with a pulled, tired smile. "I know he wishes I could." Love him.
But before the next question,'Why can you not love him?' is spoken by the child, Nilec webs their fingers between them.
"This is not a time for sadness, little brother. There will be enough of that in days to come. Go on now, say hello to the sea."
The ten year old’s brows are furrowed, un-natural ice concerned but he nods unfurling at last seeming to realize he would get nothing more from Nilec. There were words on the tip of her tongue, apologizes for her vague answers, for the lies that she spun like a web, and so much inward hatred. The Seer just smiles that broken slip of lips that hides the malice and discontent, lying to everyone, even herself.
Nilec now that she had told Nathanael of his future, is a boy, who even so young, knows the future would strip him of everything. It would drive the Prince insane and push him toward that cliff that the Gods had planned for him. Nilec was just one of many who had to give him a forward shove.
"I do not love him, not because I hate him," Nilec whispers as Nathanael giggles, splashing in the aqua waves. "I do not love James because of what I must and I will do to him, for the actions they demand of me against him." It was not demanded by the Gods that Nilec Quele ever feel love, it was demanded, however, to control, to shape, to push and to bleed.
What were the uses of apologizes and hate when nothing would ever change? There was a terrible, simple acceptance in knowing your life was destined by fate.
I, I am the misery you crave
And you, you are my faithful enemy
This hunger seems to feed on me
A sacred sin, a dying breed
And we risk everything
They can never know just what we’ve done
They can never know just what we’ve done
They will never know all the blood we’ve shed
The scarlet cross we bear until the bitter end
And they, they can never know just what we’ve done
Nilec refused to love what she had been ordered to destroy.
But the world would live on, saved, so what was the bleeding of two simple souls to the fate of a world?
Nothing at all.
King Joscelin the First is Nathanael’s grandparent.
King Peter Quele is Nathanael’s father.
Queen Elaina Quele is Nathanaael’s mother.
Nilec Quele is Nathanael’s ‘sister’.
1959-1970 The Age of Lilies:
February of 1959 - Queen Tarja and King Adair, parents of King Joscelin the First are assassinated. They were commonly believed, to have been killed by a Fallen Archangel.
October of 1959 - The Dirian War Begins with the northern desert lands, headed by the newly crowned King Joscelin the First at the young Elven age of 142.
December 20th of 1959 - Joscelin the First takes Wil’helm, a Le’lis priest of common birth as his consort. In the nearly eleven years prior to their deaths, Joscelin will have spent only a grand-total of 31 days with Wil’helm because of the ongoing war.
July 15th 1962 - Elaina Laurent (Quele) is born to a Le’lis noble family.
January 4th 1963 - Nilec Quele is rescued at the age of 148 by Joscelin the First from abuse within the Temple of Fate.
April 9th 1963 - Peter Quele is born to King Joscelin the First who leaves the following evening back to the war-front.
1970 - Nilec is 155 and Peter is 7 yrs old when his parents are murdered. Joscelin will have spent a grand total of 8 days with his son before his death. Peter is given to the Arch-Deacon to raise within the Church and grows up craving attention and affection he is denied.
1971-1979 The Age of Silence:
1971 - Elaina is 8 years old when her parents are caught in a border skirmish and are killed. She is handed from noble family to noble family to be fostered, but ultimately, she is unwanted. Elaina grows up independent and rebellious.
1976 - Peter is 12 and Elaina 13 when they meet for the first time as Peter plays a prank on the parish in the Arch Deacon’s grand cathedral. She assists him in his punishment and they become close.
1978 - Elaina teaches Peter how to kiss and realizes she has fallen in love with a gay man and covers for Peter when he sneaks out to be with his male suitors.
1979 - Peter is 15 and Elaina 16 when Peter is persuaded to take the throne by the Arch Deacon. Terrified that he will be made into a Puppet King Peter asks Elaina to be his Queen. Elaina accepts realizing she will marry a man who can never love her the way she loves him.
1979-1994 The Age of Judgement:
1981 - Peter begins to demand that Nilec live in the Castle again, re-adopting his own sister as his daughter. Nilec is 166 this year and she refuses to live in the castle as she is terrified of men.
July 6th 1982 - Peter is 19 and Elaina is 20 when Nathanael is born at last. This is after four years of trying for an heir. Elaina begins to take up the political responsibility of King and Queen.
1983 - The Arch Deacon continues to try to make a Puppet King out of Peter who is unable to handle the court pressure. Elaina refuses to stand down.
1985 - Nathanael, age 3, succumbs to fevers that nearly kill him. It is at this point that a previously agnostic Peter begins his obsession with the church, praying for his son’s salvation.
1986 - Peter takes Sir Atrious, a King’s Guard Captain as his consort with his wife’s warmth and approval. Elaina refuses to take a consort as the court would use this against her in a sexist internal war. Elaina remains both King and Queen politically and largely alone personally until her death.
1987 - Nilec at 171 years of age begins to visit the Imperial palace again although her anxiety and eating disorder have worsened, she hides this to the best of her ability.
1988 - Elaina begins to try to persuade her husband to divorce her and take another wife for the sake of the Empire as she is certain she is infertile. Peter knows without her the Empire would crumble and she would be shamed into hiding if she was divorced by the Emperor so Peter, rightfully refuses.
1989 - After 4 years of experimental magic being used on Nathanael the future is bleak but Peter and Elaina will not give up. Peter turns ever more to faith and his obsession with spiritual purity grows.
1990 - The Prologue is Nilec at 175 years of age being explained to by the Deity of Fate about the future destruction of the world, and her and Nathanael’s part in saving it. Nilec believes she owes the Gods for Joscelin finding and saving her and obeys.
1992 - Chapter One opens with Nathanael at the age 9 learning he will die within three years time, and Elaina pleading one last time for the sake of the Empire to have Peter take a new wife. Peter refuses and says that Reinn Anon (Their God) will provide, they must go back to council. Nathanael is left at the cabin and Thom who is only 14 himself must explain to the 9 year old what death is.
"How can I help you understand?" Joscelin asks of You.
But the King’s eyes flutter closed as he feels Master Riviria lead him through the countless millenniums of memory that Riq’ua possessed. By extension it is not only the two Elves, but You who see this glimpse into this ageless man’s long past in hopes of comprehension.
Riq’ua’s hands were clasped before him within the Mellim’disiel, the sacred Elven homeland, and to his left and his right there were rows of gravestones extending even further ahead. A graveyard within a graveyard and his eyes came up and head turned back beyond those gathered individuals to the Blade Dancing Academy through the trees. This grove beyond but yet close to the Academy where Master Sea taught and lived. Eyes returned and he starred at the freshly filled grave with simple headstone above it, sadness acute within the air from those presented. For there was no shame or dishonor in sadness in Blade Dancing tradition, it was believed that we should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression. There was a time to mourn and that was now.
A single grave, a single grave marker and Riq’ua stepped back from the grave-site and he put up his hand and those that filtered into the picture by stepping forward bowed with him swords laid horizontally flat in the Blade Dancer’s formal bow. Nearly all of these Elves wore leathers and their blades were the Nyamase Miljem, they Blade Dancers. But speckled amongst them were Elven clerics, Elven mages, scholars and it could be seen also that a even few humans of different professions dotted this crowd who honored these two in death.
"We stand before the grave of a Protector and his Protected. But that is to simple, too plain. We are here honouring the love of two bonded, an Elf man and a human woman. As Elves and Blade Dancers both we feel more keenly the loss of our brother and the woman that he loved."
And Riq’ua through this memory allows You to feel what he meant by the gravity of those words. Just the tiniest sliver blossomed, for more then a splinter to un accustomed minds could be dangerous to fragile chalices. The webbing of the mind, the links that ran from the Blade Dancing Grand Master and branched out like tree roots and webs to his Blade Dancers, from the Blade Dancers to the students, and from Blade Dancers to their mates. From those outer edges it looped back, for all the mates were connected to one another through the students and Blade Dancers too.
"The loss of one life is like a trickle, and with each life this trickle grows stronger, for no life is more precious then another. We are all each other’s sworn brothers, fathers, lovers and friends. To live is to suffer, but to die, is to protect."
The gravestones are slow to fade away and Joscelin tries one last time to explain, a clear desperation at last in depths of lavender as they opened to once again look at You.
"We were always connected and we loved the mates of our Masters and our brothers. Can You now begin to comprehend our loneliness? That Riq’ua and I are the last? The grieving that I fought through as I lead my brethren into War and felt, Oh by the Goddess of Mercy! Felt inside the tearing of the roots from a great and ancient tree? The webbing cut from Our mind, Our Heart, Our Soul! We honored and respected, nay, we loved them, brethren and mate alike for they had been chosen by a Blade Dancer ire regardless of them being Elven or human. To be the mate of a Blade Dancer bonded them to us all."
It was the strength and the weakness of the Blade Dancers, the ability to move and act with one purpose and one mind. But to feel also the shocking pain and death of each and everyone of your brothers-in-arms. To feel too the overwhelming grief of the mate of the man lost to the beyond pulling you down to drown. The reasons the Blade Dancers had been respected and feared for millennial but in one savage war nearly lost everything.
Notes:The Scourge War devastated Camar’a Sere’th, a war that would have seen all the life and beauty snuffed out, the destruction of the very world. Nearly forty percent of the known world was killed during that war, and the man who had lead the undead army, Drefan Robert Royale, Prince of Royale was forgiven for his part in the events and as far as most know has gone into hiding. Most just wish him dead. This is 21 years later.
"I understand war Mylord, every scar seen and unseen on this shell is from war." Shnorhik rebuked her eyes on Drefan’s turned back. “I know the hate, I know the ignorance. But how much longer do we have to wait? They will wait, your people will wait till the day old age takes their souls into the stream and their blood nourishes the land. But must they? You are our heir," she implored.
Words would grow louder as the warrior tried to get her point across, “Camar’as’ terror at our loyalty should not stop us from being free. What did we fight for? What did those women die for if not for our God Nanqa, if not for you!?”
“Which is precisely why I can’t rule!" Drefan spun to face her, his eyes black fire now, but even so she would not back down as he tried to make her understand. “Damn it, it is my fault that nearly my entire people were eradicated and you want me to take the throne?!"The words hissed out through grit teeth. Shnorhik’s arms crossed as she watched him, her brown eyes on his black, and “…Is that what you really believe?" she asked at last and the Royalian shook her head at him a deep sadness to her eyes.
“No Mylord, we knew, in our hearts," her scarred hand laid on her breast. “Through the darkness, we could feel the grief weighing down and you slipping away from us. But you were too far afield, we could do nothing from here," and the grief was huffed out, eyes hardening, starring at Drefan unafraid of her liege, daring to challenge him with her next words. “You never had to ask for our forgiveness! To us there is nothing to forgive!"
“Nothing??" Drefan snapped but Shnorhik would not give up ground, "Nothing. We marched north into the lands of light; we fought beside Islay, Daranigh, Jharrik and Gaelian because you were lost. If we could stop you then maybe we could stop the world’s suffering, free the northlands holy city, and with that perhaps you would be freed too. Honor dictated no less then stand beside our enemy because they would never do such a thing for us!"
Drefan starred at Shnorhik, at the woman who had died and risen moments later to keep on fighting in a seemingly endless war more times than could be comprehended. She shook her head, not having lost that same strength twenty one years after the fact, “We were not going to give up on you, or give up on Nanqa. Never."
She stepped another solid step forward, eyes still boring into his unerringly, “You never had to ask anything of us, we give ourselves freely. That has always been our way; we die upon our blade to give our lives for you, for Royale, our homeland. You then bring us back to fight anew in the legions of undead and we are proud to have that honor to serve our kingdom and our King. We give up our first born child, returning that precious life to Nanqa so he may remain strong in the void so someday he can come back to us. We wait! We have waited two thousand years, when by the Lord of Darkness and Honor does the waiting end? When can I take my blade to the stomach of the next Camar’ian fool who dares shove and spit on one of us?"
Drefan began to shake, the wisps of darkness crawling up his arms and slowly he would lose his human appearance, showing the skeletal undead beneath. Shnorhik continued, “You are a Liche Mylord, we consider that the greatest honor bestowed to man, to attain immortality and search for wisdom and knowledge for eternity. Is this all forgotten by the lack of having a soul?" She sounded pained and suddenly exhausted, “Perhaps it is not only the Camar’ians who need to learn of Royale," and the fire went out in her and she at last turned away. “Fear not the deity that created you Mylord, for that is the greatest of sorrows, to lose faith in what only meant to protect you."
Drefan hissed through his teeth softly, hands curled into fists by his sides, “Nanqa through my hands was what dealt all the death and destruction that took place during the Scourge War!"
Sudden bitter laughter from Shnorhik and her eyes closed hard, head shaking, back still turned to him, “No, no. That was insanity, not Nanqa. Not you."
Drefan fell silent. All of it just sounded like excuses.
"I cannot explain it well enough, I do not know enough to explain, but we believe. Our Lord Nanqa came back to us when the war ended when for three years no prayers were answered. But even during that while, roses bloomed for the souls sacrificed to protect our lands; people came back from the dead time and time again. No other deity has want of us; no other deity has given so much to us. We are Nanqa’s and Nanqa’s alone, though we honor all Sixteen, even Reinn Anon who wants us wiped off this planet like an infestation." Shnorhik turned slowly to look through her dark brown curls at the man who had nearly destroyed the world. Drefan Robert Royale, descendent of Nanqa,undead liche, bitter and tired after his mind was restored from grief stricken hatred, the man that should have been the Royalian King, their King.
Drefan huffs,"Alright, then who do I speak to now?"
“There is a little girl Mylord, she is favored by Nanqa, a vessel for our Lord of Darkness, she would be able to explain better. I am a warrior, not a priest."
“…Then I will attempt to find her,” Drefan mumbled, so it seemed her words had shaken him and he would go looking for this girl after all. Nathanael had been right, even if others forgave you themselves; if you did not believe yourself worthy of their forgiveness you would never be forgiven. Perhaps he needed to do the forgiving, to forgive his deity in return so that he could be free?
It was worth a try he supposed…
Part 2 of 5 of Camar’a Sere’th World Map.
The south most ice lands.This is a wasteland that is nearly unknown by all those in the warm lands to the north.