The call to battle was long and clear that night, it woke me in my borrowed bed chamber, close and warm in my beloved's arms, his wings wrapped carefully around us. Aalairius is a good person, but a young Daeva. I sometimes think I am neither of those things... I quietly slipped from his embrace, the light here in Teminon Fortress is dimmer and more diffuse than the golden light of Elysea. It takes me considerable effort to don my chain armour with no sound. It marks me as a Priestess of Aion's order. I sighed and let my mind wander as I slipped the last buckle home and reached for my mace.
It has barely been two years since I woke in a temple healing chamber, battered and bruised, ribs bandaged carefully, face swollen to a point I could barely see from my left eye. I could not remember how I had come to be there, or how long I had been in the state that I was in. I could barely remember anything at all, save my name, and my position as a cleric in the city of Heiron. The healers asked me how long the Asmodians kept me, and I remember I had laughed... Asmodians? I was a mere human; the Asmodians do not suffer the humans of Elysea to live. Besides, it was rare for humans to encounter Asmodians out side of the raiding parties that would occasionally enter Elysea.
The Healers looked grave at this revelation, and spoke in hushed tones. I did not understand their worry, I simply slept. It was at the temple infirmary that I met Aalairius for the first time... He was two beds over from me in the infirmary, battered and bruised from what I did not know. We spoke briefly between my bouts of unconsciousness in the dark hush of the healing rooms. We would later be stationed in Poeta together, with a start-up Legion, in our service to the citizens of Poeta we met Daminu together, and the Lord Elim showed us both just a glimpse of what had been forgotten. Later, we met with Pernos, an old man with a fondness for a pet Porgus. Of all the things I’ve ever done, avenging that porgus… In any event, I believe it was then that Aion called upon his daughter once more… Pernos set us on a path to discovery, one that Aalairius and I did not expect… I was not simply a priestess of Aion’s light, I had been, I was, a Daeva, a Cleric of his divine order, and Aalairius a Templar.
Though I have not told my lover, my memories have come to me in bits and pieces, through dreams and moments of recollection at the sight of some ruin, or bit of architecture, or from a scent or bit of bird song.
Dressed, yet still unsure of myself and what I was doing, I slipped from the chambers, mace at my side and shield on my arm. The light outside Teminon was blazing and glorious and almost as beautiful as the light of Sanctum herself. I praised Aion, brief prayer slipping from my lips to be born away on the hot winds of the Abyss.
I remember vaguely a time before the war with Asmodae, I remember a time when our world was beautiful and whole... I remember... but then as mist rising from Lake Cliona, it is gone. After our re-ascension, as it were, Aalarius and I found our selves stationed with the Destiny Legion under the command of Brigade General Sin and her partner and beloved Boa. Boa is a Cleric of Aion's light as I am, though Boa is quite a bit more formidable than myself.
The call to arms rang distant and sure. I did not know which fortress was under attack this time nor who aggressed on whom, but I was sure to find out. I stepped to the edge of the landing and spread my wings tipping forward gracefully until my feet left the ground and the flight muscles in my chest and back took my weight, my wings bearing me up into the void and through the first set of Aether infused flight rings…
I would not make it in time to this battle, but there would be plenty more to come. Daeva's are immortal, and thus this war would also be. There would be time later for blood and tears, for tonight I was content to just fly and see if there was a skirmish I could aid in, or Elyos in distress that I might heal with my prayers.
I let my thoughts wander back down their brooding path as I flew. Though my body may be whole again, my mind is not, and it is my mind I must come to terms with to be truly comfortable in my own skin again. I will grow strong and then we shall see, but for now I was content to just fly. Upon my return to Teminon Fortress I found my beloved by the stair. He sat upon a stack of crates a dark look furrowing his brow amidst the white glare of marble. I landed a few paces before him and took the last few steps before sitting beside him.
“You were gone when I woke again.” He said, carving a bit of apple with his knife. “You know I hate waking up without you. Why do you do that?” he handed me a bit of the fruit. I chewed carefully before responding.
“Sometimes I need to fly, to clear my head. I just need time to think.” I answered slowly.
“I worry about you when you go off alone like that.” He looked me in the eyes, his expression gently chiding.
“I know love. I’m sorry, I will try to keep my absences to a minimum, or at least try to tell you where I am going.” I smiled at him as he ran his hand through his short white hair. It was not the answer he wanted to hear. I knew that. It was just the only answer I could give him.
More of our Legion began to show, our Brigade General and her lover and first Centurion would be there soon to give us our orders. When they arrived I shifted from foot to foot, impatient to be going. Sin glared at me a couple of times as she continued to address us, exchanging a meaningful look with Boa. Boa adjusted her chain skirt, and gave me her look that she and I would be talking later. I did not blame them; my inattention could prove to be disastrous.
I received my orders, grateful to have something to do. My boot heals clicked against the marble stone of Teminon Landing, the chain of my armor softly chiming, glinting in the reflected light off the white stone. I marched past the posted watch just behind my lover. The Daeva stationed at the Teleportation hub widened his eyes as I hefted my mace.
“Aalairius, Sirona! Out for a stroll?” he asked nervously.
“I wish it were as simple as that, no, I have been asked to dispatch some unfortunate twisted spirits in upper Reshanta, I shall need a port to the Eastern Shard if you will." I replied politely as I could, though I knew my expression was hard... My thoughts and fragmented memories roiled in my head today, darker than usual, fleeting, and oh so difficult to pin down. My flight of earlier had done nothing to clear the miasma in my skull. The Daeva in charge of providing teleports blanched.
“There has been Asmodian activity at the upper end of Reshanta today, the Daeva's on duty sent word for support not an hour ago.” he leafed through his spell book, fingers twitching nervously along the surface of the parchment as he looked for the proper incantation. I felt a smile creep across my lips, cold as winter ice, and not at all friendly.
“We shall see if I can lend any aid on my way through then...”
The golden gate blossomed before me, edged in so many twisting and disheveled arcane symbols, I spread my wings and leapt through, the roar of the aether winds betwixt this point and the next deafening, and suddenly, the white gold marble of Teminon was gone and the deep blue stone of the eastern shard was there, dark and bereft in it's place.
I turned in time to see several wounded Daeva land from the upper ring in a heap, dirty and bloody, scraped and bruised, wing feathers bent and in some places broken or singed. I gathered the light of Aion within me and intoned the prayer I needed in a strong clear voice, the injuries of the Scout before me blending and smoothing before disappearing all together.
I turned to the layer-transportation Daeva and nodded curtly, she flung her spell and I was off the ground and soaring upwards at an incredible pace! Hurdling upwards mace in hand, shield on my arm I burst through to the upper shard and with a sharp cry I hurdled my wrath at the nearest Asmodian, a Gladiator by the looks of him, which was engaging an Asassin and Chanter of one of my sister Legion. The earth erupted angrily beneath the Gladiator's feet, but still, he was not deterred. Aalairius erupted from the tunnel behind me and trained his own fearsome wrath on a scout just to the side of me, dragging the sod into him and smashing him to the ground with his shield.
The Asmodian front advanced. Buggar! These head-strong Asmodian upstarts! Did they have nothing better to do!? Were there not Balaur to face in droves near by!? Twisting and bending, protecting myself with shield and defending myself with mace, I fought. The war dance trained into the memory of my muscles playing out against cloth, leather, chain and plate, and even sometimes skin.
The skirmish grew, as more Asmodians and Elyos arrived, the fighting broke for one clear instant, and the two sides divided, back to their respective teleportation pads. I caught my breath, rested for but a moment before marching forward. I stopped, body trembling with adrenaline and anger for these young, fool hardy Asmodians.
Several Elyos gathered at my back, also young, also foolish, they taunted the Asmodians to attack... and they did.
The Ranger beside me transformed, shocked into the semblance of an elemental spirit by one of the Asmodian Spirit Masters before me. My rage grew as I spoke the incantation to break the Ranger free. Have they no honor!? Have they no ability to fight for themselves without resorting to subversive tactics!?
With an undignified yell I brought a pillar of Aion's light onto the young Asmodian's head, a mere slap for his insolence before I healed an ailing Chanter to my right. The Asmodians rankled, and moved on us, the Elyos feinted back but I was mid-spell! I could not step back, my prayer faltered on my lips as the Asmodian Templar came into view, and I could see the ill will in his eyes as he swung his sword in my direction... the blue chains leapt forth as the prayer died on my lips, the Chanter was healed, but I was ensnared! Drawn inexorably forward toward the lot of their rabble!
“SIRONA!” I heard the shout from behind me as a different set of blue chains shot passed my shoulder, ensnaring the Templar that had me within his grasp, yanking him towards me and suddenly I was free! I retreated and thanked Aion, Aalairius was at my side, and he picked up the Asmodian Templar in his rage and smashed his body into the earth, even as I unleashed Aion's fury onto the sod's soul. The Asmodian reached out in futility, before collapsing to his knees, his wings wrapping over him as if to protect him. He was of no concern to us now.
My lover was here, and I was safe for now, the battle raged, and grew and shrank, both sides vying for the platform. Eventually the Asmodians ceded the territory to my brethren, a small battle won to the Elyos, though one that hardly counted.
Aalairius and I traveled onward to fulfill our duty, later we would bathe our small hurts and join the Legion for evening rest. For now, we had angry spirits to lay to rest and a duty to Elysea to perform. The skirmish had been enough to calm the tempest of memory and unease in my mind and I stepped forward into the rest of my day with my lover at my side and a better outlook on the day. I hoped it would stay this way…