Sunday, July 11, 2010

Something New!

So you've read te life of an Elysian Cleric, now for something new...

Head over to to read a new story, the Lore of Lyrinia follows the tale of an Asmodian cleric, who unlike Sirona who desperately clung to her past, will do anything and just about everything to forget hers.

... and you guys thought I would stop writing ... lol shame on you.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fifty Two - The Final Chapter

          It was dark, and it was cold and I hugged my knees to my chest and waited for something to happen. I don’t know how long I was in the cell before he came. The jailers slid open a small hatch to look in on me at standing eye height. The red of his eyes and glimmer of torchlight from the hall behind him was dazzling bright after so much solid darkness.

          “You are ready to speak what we want to hear yes?” he asked. I slumped back into my corner.

          “No. May I please have some food, or water?” I asked. He made a disgruntled noised and clapped the small portal closed. I rested my head on my knees and tried to forget my hunger and thirst. It would not kill me. The immortal don’t die from things like that.

          Time dragged on, I think it was every week or so that they came always with the same question, always with the same denial on my part and always with the same result… Left to rot in the dark, alone, exhausted and growing weaker by the hour, by the day, by the week, by the month? I thought of Elethor and I prayed and eventually I grew to accept what I must do to continue to keep him, and the ones I loved in Elysea safe. I closed my eyes, or at least I think I did, the blackness being the same both ways and I tried to sleep.

          “Wake up child.”

          I opened my eyes and this time was greeted by a diffuse glow around the cowl of a stranger…

          “Father?” I asked weakly.

          “No, no… but he sent me.” The kind voice was soothing and almost musical in quality and his hand was soft where it held mine.

          “Who are you?” I inquired.

          “I am His Avatar child, I am Aion given physical form for however long He requires it. You may call me Tamat.” He took my hands and lifted me to my feet and I stood, suddenly not tired, not thirsty and more so not cold or hurting.

           “Thank you.” I breathed, and he nodded his head smiling. “Why have you come?” I asked.

          “Isn’t it obvious?” he asked, and I shook my head. “I’ve come to take you home.” I worried my lip between my teeth and considered him.

           “To Elysea?” I asked, and my heart began to sink when his expression, what I could see of it grew solemn.

           “No child, not to Elysea.”

           “To my Elethor then?” I was strangely calm when the being shook his head once more. I tipped my head back and back and relaxed my shoulders, the tears slipping free.

             “Is He angry with me?” I asked.

             “No, no child, not angry He could never be angry with you. He placed too much on your shoulders He sees that now. He forgives you for being unable to do what it was He asked. If anything He is disappointed in Himself for what has transpired.”

          “Will Elethor be all right?” I asked the first subtle sob shaking my shoulders.

            “He will not, for a while… but time heals all wounds and I am sure he will love again.”

          I looked down at my body, so dirty and rail thin crouched in the corner. Eyes glazed and staring at nothing, growing cloudy all ready and I hugged myself. Tamat put his arms around me and murmured, into my hair.

           “It is time to go child. He wishes to see you. Please do not fret, your time to hurt is at an end and I promise you some day you will see your man again. Though it will be long for him it will be but a blink of the eye for you. Come now; let us leave this place behind.”

          “Can I see him one last time?” I asked and Tamat simply shook his head. I sobbed and leaned heavily against Tamat and felt plate armor beneath his simple homespun robe and cowl. I could see now, the filthy stone walls covered with damp and ichor and I looked back at my body once more.

           “I am ready,” I said finally. “Tamat, take me home.”

Jailor’s log – 06-03-110

           The Elyos female captured at Asteria has expired, proving their inferiority and frailty compared to the greater Asmodian people. She gave us nothing. Her Asmodian lover claimed her body and shed no tears, burning her in a pauper’s pyre started with his own magic outside the city walls. He has remained mute since the time of her death – weak fool. I have finished my report on the matter and sent it to the Shadow Court for review. This matter is at a close.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fifty One

           I tipped my face up into the sunlight and listened to the distant shouts of the incoming supply lines and the nearer clash of training weapons. At the time I hadn’t known that it would be the last time I would feel the warmth and light on my skin… The camp that had sprung up on the Asteria plains was a comfortable one, and with the day of a spring like quality it was hard not to relax and enjoy it even if it was a siege. I let my attention drift over the tops of the tents neatly nestled together in their perfectly regimented rows to the looming structure that was Asteria fortress and the Asmodian garrison that patrolled the ramparts. I had seen the legion crests of their forces flying high above the gray stone walls and easily spotted the one our intel had described as Daemon Proxy’s. Elethor was in there I could feel it deeply, and the tug on my soul that was bound to him had confirmed his nearness; it had eased my worry marginally.

           The sun was setting and soon the mess tents would fill and after that, the firesides. We had held them at our mercy for a while now… cutting off their supplies and knocking on their gates. Finally there were whispers through the camp that a representative would be sent out and demands would be exchanged, so we waited. I found Ailsie by the fire well within view of the great fortress and we sat together as some of the more talented daeva’s set down their arms and took up their instruments. The sun dipped low behind the rocky crag that served as Asteria’s backdrop and darkness descended as the first mournful call of the violin went up into the air. We listened and some danced and the entertainment went on for a bit when a stir moved through the crowd as Andrei and several of his most trusted Centurions moved through the crowd to the edge of the camp where the Asteria Plains met with the sheer cliff surrounding the fortress.

           I saw the shadows descend from the air, I saw the gleam of red, diminished by distance and the firelight and as Andrei and our men approached my heart seized in my chest when I saw it was him and two others from his Legion that walked with my Brigade General. I rose as did several others at their approach and the music stilled. Elethor’s expression gave nothing away as his gaze slid over me and I gripped Ailsie’s wrist tightly in an effort to keep myself carefully schooled away.

           “Don’t stop on our account!” Andrei said as they strode passed and my gaze locked briefly with my beloveds. His eyes, still faintly glowing raked me over from head to foot and a muscle in his jaw twitched with barely perceived relief when he saw I was whole. I fought to keep my expression neutral and inclined my head and looked away but Ailsie… Ailsie had seen it.

           “That’s him isn’t it?” she asked me… and I let her wrist go. My attention on his retreating back as the crowds closed behind him and they made their way to the central command tent towards the Elyos guard tower established at Asteria some time ago.

           “Yes,” I murmured for my friend’s ear alone… “Yes that’s Elethor.” What is he doing here!? My agonized mind screamed… but it was a mystery that I would have to live with for the time being as the music started up again and I sat back down, resolutely fending off an inquiry to dance.

           The night wore on and my distraction grew as I spent the entirety of my time forcing myself to remain still and not seek out the command tent to listen or to find how things fared. Eventually, when the time permitted I left the fireside and found my tent and the cot within. Out here on the siege field I slept uncomfortably in my boots, greaves and hauberk with my mace and shield close at hand. It was how Ailsie found me in the middle of the night, the camp quiet and still. I woke with her hand over my mouth, her lips hissing me to silence beside my ear.

          “They have him Sirona, I never thought I would see the day the Elyos would betray a peace talk but they’ve done it and if you want to save him you have to go now.” She muttered in a rush. I took up my shield and mace and stood, shaking in the dark but not with cold. Dread uncoiled in the pit of my stomach and I slipped down the lines of canvas behind the lithe shadow my friend cast as she led me to the Guard Tower.

           Ailsie went ahead of me and spoke to the guards stationed outside; drawing them away from the door and turning them round just enough for me to use the techniques Toxemia had taught me to slip passed them. I went in, and followed the winding stair down, down, down to the cell block beneath where I heard them, several men… and the beating of my Elethor.

          “Stop!” I barked at them, Andrei turned his arms crossed and an ugly look upon his face, Leogetz looked up from the prone figure of my beloved on the stone floor and drew back as if to kick him again. I spoke a word of command and unleashed the prayer and watched as it knocked Leo clear of him. There were more of my people than there was of me and I knew it to be a lost cause from the beginning but I resigned my fate, even as Xanathar advanced on me bringing his great sword to bear I brought up my shield and took a defensive stance, moving myself to stand above my beloved even as I heard Leo exclaim,

          “You traitor bitch!”

          “Me a traitor!? What is it you do here?” I demanded parrying a blow with my mace trying to guard myself and Elethor at the same moment. “You break treaty and for what!? One less crow on the battlefield when the time comes?” I miscalculated and took a severe stroke to the ribs, collapsing to my knees.

          “Send her back to her bind point; we’ll deal with her later.” Andrei’s voice was colder than an Asmodian winter as Leo brought down the point of his blade, through my back and I let go… flowing through the aether to the bind point closest to me… to Elethor who lay in the open cell door way struggling to breathe.

          I gathered to myself and spoke a prayer of healing feeling my reserves fill, using their shock to my advantage to better my stance for the next onslaught. Their eyes wide with shock I told them in a dramatic whisper,

          “I will not leave him.” They came at me again, and again I fell only to bring myself up at his side once more. A third time I fell, and a fourth but I would not bend I would not sway and I would not leave his side… finally Andrei bellowed,

          “Enough! She wants to side with the crows so badly then let her, lock them both in.” he left then, storming up the stairs and I admit no little satisfaction at his discomfiture. I had been unarmed and stood in the cell, breathless but with no little fight left in me as they caged us. When they were gone I fell to my knees and lifted Elethor’s prone figure into my arms.

           “You should not…” he coughed blood and made a sound of pain deep in his chest before squeezing out the rest. “You should not have done that.”

          “Shhhh, be still my love. I will get us out, I will get you back to your people I’m just not sure how just yet.”

          He clung to me, head in my lap as he fought to stay conscious, Aion knows how long they had him before Ailsie had come to fetch me… I prayed and prayed and finally my prayers were answered as the cell door unlocked and Tox seemed to appear from the aether it’s self.

          “This is got to be the dumbest thing I have ever helped you do.” He said finally, helping me to help Elethor to his feet. My beloved swayed between us and my fear grew.

          “I need to get him back to his people.” I said as we made for the stairs, Ailsie joined us outside.

          “Move quietly.” She said, “Sleeping storm only lasts so long and only on so many people, it took better hold on those all ready asleep.” We rushed to the edge of the chasm around Asteria Fortress, Tox and Ailsie remaining at the tent line, I shouted when we were close enough and signaled the Asmodian guard, who came down to help me. I went up and into the fort following my love as they tended him, Dark coming to keep them off of me until I could see this through. I waited in the hall with the big Gladiator and when he was well enough, was allowed to see my Elethor one last time…

            He sat in a sturdy chair, his ribs bandaged carefully from armpit to hip. I straddled his lap carefully and lowered myself to sit on the arms of the chair. I kissed him carefully as his hands rode on my hips gently. I rested my forehead against his and sniffed, the tears slipping free and gliding down my cheeks.

           “I’m so sorry.” I said finally. “I had no idea what they were…” I sobbed and jumped slightly at a crash down the hall, the sound of plate and chain rattling.

          “Shhhh no no no. This isn’t your fault.” He cupped my face in his hands and kissed me gently as he said it.

          “They’re coming for me now.” I said, “I need you to let me go. I need you to heal and be safe.” He shook his head violently at my words and I stilled him taking the decorative combs from my hair and pressing them into his hands, I wanted him to have something of me and it was all I had to give. “I love you.” I said withdrawing from him.

          “Sirona no!” he tried to get up and collapsed back weakly into his chair.

          “It’s okay. I promise its okay. I love you Elethor, always you, forever you and only you.” He slammed his fist into the wooden arm and for the first and only time I saw my lover cry, crystalline tears slipping down the dusky blue of his cheek from his crystalline eyes.

          “I love you Sirona, always you, forever you and only you…” I straightened and slipped out of the chamber into the hall passed Dark and Dracia. I looked at the Glad and Assassin, both gripping their weapons ready to fight and shook my head, stepping passed them into the hall and towards the advancing guards.

          I called out to Dark, “Tell them I won’t resist, I’m coming willingly.” And he did for me, the guards slowing… “Dark, take care of Elethor, promise me you both will take care of him.”

          He swore to me and the assassin followed suit and I stepped forward wrists together arms held before me so the guards could bind me, which they did swiftly and mercilessly, throwing a black hood over my face and hustling me violently forward.

          We took no less than three teleports, and finally I felt we were marching through a city… Eventually we went into a building and down, so far down and I could hear the rattle of chains and the clang of cell doors and it was so very dark. I remained calm, burning the image of my beloveds face into my thoughts even as I felt him so dim and far away from me. Eventually the hood was ripped from my face and I was left blinking into torch light.

          “You understand me yes?” the jailer asked. I nodded carefully. “You will tell us everything we ask yes?” he asked and I shook my head no. He slammed his ledger onto a table and I was dragged to a cell with no window and no bars. I was thrown in and the heavy iron door was closed behind me. All the rest was total darkness. I found myself a corner and slouched against the wall, working at the bindings on my wrists with my teeth…

Sunday, May 9, 2010


          The blue sand and stone was warm beneath my bare feet, the dress Elethor had given me so long ago fluttered around my calves as the hot winds of the abyss scoured the battlefield surrounding one of the Siel Fortresses. Feathers ruffled in the strong breeze, black and white alike, broken armor and weapons studded the ground and there were so many daeva’s locked in death… final death… true death, their eyes staring sightless and frightened into the aether, their mouths locked into eternal screams. I put my hands over my mouth and doubled over, the tears streaming down my cheeks. Aion laid His hand upon my back, the barest hint of His mouth set in a grim line beneath His cowl.

           “Walk with me child that you may better understand what it is I have asked of you.” He murmured. I straightened and walked beside Him and listened as He spoke. “I have asked you to love them both and you have admirably, but I believe you have misunderstood exactly what it is I have asked of you and so I must show you. I am very sorry it has come to this my child but I need you to look into your heart and see… really see what it is I have asked of you.”

          I looked down into the many faces of the Fallen, Elyos and Asmodian alike and felt a horror that chilled me to my very core. It was a cold that would not be fixed by sitting fireside or by wrapping me in a blanket and as I walked beside Aion I grew numb from my crown to my toes.

           “Father,” I asked. “Why do you show me this?”

            “Because you need to see my child, I need you to understand and words will simply not express…”

             He raised His arm and swept it outwards to engulf the entire grisly scene, where nothing stirred and all was still despite the wind… A small movement caught my eye and I watched as a ball, no a sphere of some kind rolled towards me, bouncing and jumping across the stone and dirt a lovely pale green and somehow familiar to me... My eyes widened and I followed its trail back to where it had come from, the scream climbing in my throat and sticking there as I forced it down with denial. I ran forward and dropped to my knees.

           He lay so still and so silent, dark wings broken and spread beneath him, the front of his robes stained dark and wet with blood, his crystalline eyes staring empty and lost and as I brought him into my lap the scream spilled along with my tears and the sound of my anguish rent the air. My Elethor, my love was so still in his final death in my arms and I screamed and I cried and I looked at my Father and I demanded of him…

             “Why!? Why? Why? Why?!! I have done everything you have asked of me! Why Father why!?” I bent double over my lover’s body and pulled as much of him to me as I could, his skin as waxy and cold beneath my palms, his lips so still beneath my lips as I kissed him. I pressed my forehead to his and wept while my Father, my Aion stood by passively and watched.

          “I ask you to look at those around your lover and think child! Think! Look with more than just your eyes! LOOK!” and His last command cracked the air with thunder and I did as He bade me and I wished I hadn’t. The faces around my dead love were people I knew too, Toxemia, Ailsie, their white wings stained crimson and over there was Dark, his beloved Dracia pinned to his chest, through her back by a great sword… fallen after her beloved, killed while she wept over his still form as I wept over my Elethor now. I looked up at my Father so imposing now than He had ever been before and though my grief was a crippling thing I thought furiously on what it was all supposed to mean and when I felt the dawning cross my face the awful scene began to fade, Elethor in my arms began to fade and I screamed long and mournful and tried to gather him to me and I continued to scream as I woke in my tent so very far away from the grisly scene in Theobomos I woke screaming loud and long and clear the camp coming to life around me.

           “Sirona!?” I heard a man shout. “Sirona! It’s Sirona! What’s wrong!?”

          My tent unsealed its self and Jexius shouldered his way in first followed closely by Leogetz, his twin blades drawn. I waved them off tiredly, and pushed myself up on my cot.

           “A dream,” I told them. “It was just a dream.” I swallowed hard as Leo sheathed his blades and Jex dropped his shoulders tipping his head all the way back and sighing loudly.

          “You all right?” Leo asked, brows furrowed. I nodded, and put my feet solidly on the ground sitting on the edge of my cot gulping air furiously into my lungs, my hands shaking furiously I gripped the cot’s edge to hide it.

            “I’m fine now, just a dream, a very bad dream.” I told them and heard from outside the tent Chiiro say…

            “Did she just say she had a bad dream? Is that what all of this is about?” there were noises of assent and discontent being made all around.

             “I’m sorry.” I bowed my head. “They don’t happen often; I thought I was over them…” I remembered the nightmares I had after returning from my torture, they had faded and I was hoping that this would be an accepted answer and that I would not have to explain myself further.

            Jexius looked at my feet and Leogetz followed his gaze. I let them look for a moment and tucked them back out of sight beneath the cot, pursing my lips and trying to appear suddenly self conscious of the scars. I was self conscious, of course… but not over the scars. Leogetz backed out of the tent and Jexius followed, grumbling loud enough for the rest of the party to hear…

             “I don’t know how I feel going into this mission with a half cracked Cleric at my back supposed t’ be healin’ me.” I closed my eyes and swallowed hard; Chiiro had moved into the tent and looked down on me, literally and almost figuratively. In a loud clear voice she stated,

           “No one here questions Sirona’s healing abilities, and if they do they need to take it up the chain of command not with muttered comments. Now all of you, go back to sleep we have only a few more hour until we move out.” She considered my appraisingly for a moment or two more… the sandstorm had ended and it was silent except for the grumbling men and women outside and the snap of canvas as tent flaps closed.

             “You are all right yes?” she asked me.

             “Yes. I’m fine; I’m not sure what… Maybe I should forgo rations late at night before lights out.” I said feebly. She smiled sharply at me and left my tent. I lay back down and contemplated what I had been shown and prayed that it was just a dream and not indeed a vision.

           Love them both.

          I had loved both men… but now I understood. How short sighted I have been. I thought to myself… I closed my eyes and tried to sleep and prayed that Elethor was safe.

          Love them both.

          Not both men.

          Love them both…

            I closed my eyes and let the tension ease from my shoulders and wondered, how was I supposed to love not only the man but the race that had become an enemy to my people almost as much as the Balaur had?

            Love them both.

            I thought about Elethor, and Dark, and Dracia and the others of his people I had seen and met in his Legion’s house… and they all were indeed just people.

            Love them both.

         I thought about Aalairius, Toxemia and Ailsie and the people outside this very tent and thought to myself… What if the roles were reversed, would they be so very different? I sighed and rolled my shoulders.

         Love them both.

           I closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep and I realized that for better or worse, I could, would and did love them. We were all Atreian’s after all. Weren’t we?

           Oh Aion, I hope that I can do what you wish of me…

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Forty Nine

          The campfire flickered and popped and several of my new Legion’s men laughed uproariously at some joke or another. The night was clear in Theobomos, and I leaned against the bones of some once great sea creature and looked up and up and up at the flickering lights I knew was Asmodae so far above us. It had been over two months since I had parted ways with Elethor… I had gone to our cavern on the fifth day of the month after our separation to find Dark shoving a letter beneath the designated rock. My heart had leapt in fear but the large Gladiator had calmed them by telling me Elethor was okay and that the plot against the Asmodian people had been thwarted flawlessly, the letter he bore had put my unease to rest further…

My Keairrah,

As you have no doubt noticed I was unable to meet with you, things have gotten complicated. Shortly after our goodbye I was summoned by the Shadow Judges, they are less than pleased. We knew that something like this would happen, that attack on me was proof enough, but I never imagined this.
My legion is gone. I was dragged into the Shadow Court and questioned about us, about everything. I denied nothing; a man should not have to hide his love, not ever. I was imprisoned and then questioned more. They wanted names, places, anything they could use against you. I gave them nothing, they would have tortured me were it not for my status and the mental training I had received.

As a result of my "treason" I was stripped of rank and title, my legion was disbanded, and my home taken from me. But I am not without friends; Dark has given me refuge in an old residence of his. Dark, such a friend I am blessed to have. It is he who has delivered this message to you, as my actions are being closely watched.

On a lighter note I have been accepted into a new legion, Daemon Proxy is my home for now. They are nice but wary of me, news is spreading of my actions and for the moment I must watch my back. I do not think that my life is in danger, but there are those who are zealous and would relish the chance to curry favor with the Shadow Court.

I will try and see you at the next set date, for now be careful and remember that I love you. Keep a cautious eye to the shadows as well; they have many spies at their disposal.

With all my love,


          Dark had waited patiently for me to pen a missive in reply, the one I had written prior discarded in the bottom of my cube. I had given it to him along with my love to take to Elethor before taking wing back to Teminon.

Dear Elethor,

It saddens me that I cannot see you, I have good news after a fashion though... I have been accepted into the rank of Legionary with Ascendance one of Elysea's top legions. I will be leaving next month for some missions against the Lepharist revolutionaries in a part of my world known as Theobomos. It is a part of our world as yet untouched by the rifts between our lands so I believe it to be safe from problems from Asmodae. This also means I may miss our rendezvous again but I promise you there will be another letter if it is so.

To my point of now, I need to know you are safe my love, did they do you any harm? I am so very sorry to hear of your Legion, who has betrayed you? I have so many questions and Dark will not answer, I believe he is doing what he can to preserve my sanity though I admit I am terrified for you. Please tell me you are all right. I cannot bear this separation any longer and so I pray for the strength to endure, someday I hope we can end this rift between our worlds and come to a peaceable solution. Someday I pray that I can be with you and that we would not have to hurt anymore... I think of you every waking moment, I cannot help it. This news has distressed me so I hardly know what to write.

I don't want to keep Dark waiting, it is dangerous for him, so I leave you with this: I love you, please, please, please be safe...

Forever in my thoughts and dreams,

           A month later I returned, a day ago now, quickly to leave a letter of my own detailing my new position in a new legion and to tell Elethor I was leaving on a mission later that day. I was saddened to find, not my beloved but another letter beneath our rock. I hadn’t had the chance to read it until now…
It was penned in Olde Daevic and so I had no fear of my legion mates being able to read it, as compared to me I knew them all to be relatively young, having ascended after The Fall, and the oldest among them only five hundred years or so ago. Well after the language had begun its change into what it is now.

My Sirona,

It gives me a measure of peace to know that you are out of harm's way. Were you to be in any land reachable by rifts, or in the Abyss the danger to you would be great. The Shadow Court's minions are merciless and relentless. As for myself I am unharmed, they had been debating using truth serums and mind probing at my "trial" however enough spoke on my behalf that it was decided…


          “What ‘cha reading girly girl?” a Gladiator from my Legion asked, grabbing the page from my fingers… He furrowed his brow at Elethor’s elegant script holding the parchment just out of my grasp as I desperately tried to grab it back.

           “Jexius! It’s personal… give it back!” I shouted.

           “What’s this happy Brax shit?” he asked when he realized he couldn’t read it. I got to my feet and grabbed the paper out of his hand and shoved it into my hauberk messily.

           “None of your Aion damned business. That’s what!” I snapped.

           “Whoa! No need to get all bitchy about it. Damn girl you need to…”

            “Jexius, leave Sirona alone.” Chiiro didn’t even look up from her spell book as she said it, but her voice held strength and command. “Besides, everyone knows you can’t read.” She added snidely. I sat back down.

            “You can’t read it either.” I said quietly and she looked at me and held out her hand. I pulled out the letter and handed it to her.

            “What is this? Some kind of code or cipher?” she asked.

             “No, it’s just old.” I took the letter back from her and smoothed it over my knee.

             “Old?” our Templar for this mission asked.

             “Before the tower fell it’s the language we all read, wrote and spoke.” I told him. All eyes were suddenly fixed on me.

             “Sirona,” Leogetz the assassin said my name and when I looked at him he asked the question burning in all their eyes. “How old are you?” For a daeva it was a very personal question. None of us liked to admit our age, because to say it out loud usually brought in rush all those long years, with lovers, wives and husbands… with children, lost to the ravages of time. I had never had any children of my own. I could not bear to watch them grow old and die… I chewed my lower lip and contemplated a moment before answering.

             “I was a new daeva, and in my twenties when the tower fell.” I answered finally. Back then there was an academy for new daeva’s to learn their powers and things were much more organized. I was in my final year of the academy and a good portion of the friends I had there didn’t make it through the collapse.”
Finally Jexius began to laugh, full throated and deep.

             “Brax shit. You aren’t over a thousand years old!” He paused for a long breath and as all of our Legion mates sat in silence he finally asked, “Are you?”

               I got up and dusted myself off. Chiiro had warned that her magic had foreseen a sandstorm coming and it was almost time by her reckoning for us to seal ourselves in our tents.

             “I’m that old and then some Jex.” And with that I went to my tent, lighting the lantern that hung from the ridgepole. I took off my boots and sat on my cot. When the time came Chiiro would come around from tent to tent and seal each with a spell making the canvas seamless so that the sand wouldn’t come in during the night.

              Leo called after me, “Who do you know that is that old too Sirona? That you can write to or that writes to you in that old language?” their curiosity was insatiable tonight. I called back more tersely than I had meant it to be…

              “None of your business! Goodnight.”

             Finally when their quiet conversation resumed I took out the letter, reading by the dim lantern light.

My Sirona,

It gives me a measure of peace to know that you are out of harm's way. Were you to be in any land reachable by rifts, or in the Abyss the danger to you would be great. The Shadow Court's minions are merciless and relentless. As for myself I am unharmed, they had been debating using truth serums and mind probing at my "trial" however enough spoke on my behalf that it was decided not to subject me to them.

I too, long for the day when we can be together without fearing for the other's safety. It saddens me to think that so many would have such hatred for the love we share. I hope to see you again soon and hold you close. Be careful, keairrah and know that I miss you dearly. I love you.

Forever yours,


             “Hey Sirona,” I heard from outside my tent, the flap peeling back.

             “What is it Jex?” I asked.

             “Sorry if, well… yeah just sorry.” I nodded at him and he let the canvas go, Chiiro peeled it back and looked in at me.

             “You ready?” she asked, and I nodded, she let go the fabric and uttered simple words of command and I was sealed in, the tent a seamless triangle of safety, the rasping scale of the sand against its protective shell already beginning. Before long the wind would howl and the scouring of the sand would be deafening but for now I could try to sleep. I blew out the lantern and peeled out of mu hauberk and greaves. I lay down beneath my regulation issue fess blanket in my breeches and shirt and closed my eyes the sound of the sand against my tent a regular drone and soon I was asleep…

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Approaching part 50... and now...

Coming soon...

A new beginning, but it might not be what you think.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Forty Eight

          “What is going on?” I demanded to know from Dark, when his expression went from mean and angry to grim and resigned. He threw my repaired chain at me and said,

          “Put it on, we have to get you out of here.”

          I did what I was told and scrambled into the chain chest piece, cinching down straps and securing buckles, tightening down the rest of my armor while Elethor stood ready with my shield and mace, my cube in his hand. He looked so very tired and sad in that moment but whatever was coming was bad, something to be very afraid of and as I strapped my cube to my belt Dracia started uttering a long line of what could only be curses, screaming at Billy who only grew more visibly upset. He shouted back at her and she crossed her arms over her chest, the leather of her sword rig creaking menacingly. Dark yelled at them both while I settled my shield on my back and took my mace in hand.

          Elethor threw open the window and shoved me towards it. Voice low and urgent he said, “Glide keairrah, I’ll be right behind you. The Shadow Judges wait for no one.” I wrinkled my brow in confusion and did as I was bade, leaping from the window my wings stretching free once I was clear, and I spiraled cleanly and gracefully to the ground, Elethor landing beside me, and Billy beside him. I looked back up to his lofty window and watched Dark close it, drawing the heavy velvet curtains behind him.

          Elethor took my arm and steered me into the woods, his pace quick and his eyes sharp, Billy watching our backs. We wended through snow, knee deep in places and finally came out on top of a hill overlooking a low, low valley. Elethor kissed me fiercely and shoved me towards the edge, I opened my wings and spiraled carefully to the ground as I knew he intended landing softly and with as little sound as possible. He landed beside me and Billy not long after that and turning I could see we were at the mouth of a cave, which we quickly retreated back into. Once well back from the mouth Billy began speaking low and urgently to Elethor as if to try and convince him of something, but all Elethor would do was nod in an agitated manner, holding up his hand to stop the man’s speaking and pull me close.

          “She called the Shadow Court down upon us, my love. It is time for you to go.” He said, with no little sorrow to his tone. I kissed him, lingering and sweet and wrapped my arms around him, laying my head on his chest.

          “What will you do?” I asked, not unafraid. I didn’t know what this Shadow Court was that he spoke of, or why they should be so feared but it was obvious whatever they were… it was bad and that he was in no little danger. Because of me, I thought.

          “I will be fine, I will see you again, and if not there will be a letter for you as promised, exactly where we discussed.” He tipped my face up to look at him and smoothed his thumb along my cheek. “Go now, Sirona. I will see you again, and when I do my heart will be well.”

          “I love you.” I said, the tears starting to threaten.

          “… and I love you,” he said, his clear crystal eyes burning brighter than usual with trapped moisture of their own.

          I stepped back from him and said the spell of returning, that would take me back to the obelisk my soul was bound to, still feeling the slight tug in his direction. I closed my eyes and let my body flow into the aether and collect back on the other side. It was warm and bright in Elysea, and I was grateful. It made the tears staining my face dry faster as I made my way toward Ailsie’s.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Forty Seven

          Click… chink! “Damnit!” was what woke me; I drew in a deep breath and pushed myself up halfway before realizing Elethor was not beside me. I had been lying on my stomach and now I grabbed the sheet before twisting, my eyes trying to focus in the diffuse half-light that was Asmodae’s morning sun streaming through the windows. Elethor stood behind his desk flipping through a ledger, poised now mid-motion with his attention on me. It was Dark that had woken me. He sat in the chair before the now cold hearth, my chain hauberk over one of his large knees pliers fitting awkwardly in his large clawed hands as he tried to manipulate fresh links together and repair the damage done to it.

           I held the blankets and sheets to my chest and preserved my modesty the best I could but the large man was focused on the armor in his lap and not on me. Something for which, I was ever grateful. Elethor rounded his desk and came toward me, gliding across the many rugs with a boneless liquid grace that I remembered and had always envied. It made me smile and when I smiled it made him smile, his eyes crinkling at the corners and in that moment, to me he was beautiful.

            He climbed up onto the bed beside me and kissed me gently which did make Dark look up and say with a wicked grin, “Hey none of that now… Let me at least get Dracia in here,” which he promptly repeated in Asmodian for Elethor as my face burned red. Dark laughed a deep rich sound that filled the room even as the door opened and Dracia edged in with a full tray in her hands. She looked at Dark confused and said something, he replied and she looked over at us raising an eyebrow. She kicked the door closed and set the tray on the table near the windows.

            “Elethor…” I said face burning with shame at my exposed state.

            “Oh! Right… I’m sorry.” He kissed my temple and got up speaking to the other couple in the room. They both looked at him surprised and astonished, Dracia commented and Dark set his work aside getting up. He took her by the elbow and steered her out into the hall way, giving me a wink as he closed the door behind them. I didn’t think it was possible to turn any deeper of crimson, but that wink proved I could. Elethor smiled at me and brought me my freshly laundered and mended breeches and shirt. I scrambled out of bed and dressed quickly while he spoke.

             “I’m sorry, I didn’t think. We of Asmodae aren’t as modest as the Elysian’s apparently. Forgive me?” I may have thought he was sincere but he could not keep the grin from teasing at the corners of his mouth. I frowned, and in a mock-stern voice told him,

            “With that devilish grin of yours I wish I could be inclined to believe you but no… I don’t forgive you; you will have to ask Aion to do the forgiving.” I stuck my tongue out at him as he laughed at me and pulled on my greaves and boots. Eyeing my hauberk which was still somewhat in pieces by the chair Dark had occupied the same chair that had engulfed me the night previous but now seemed so diminutive after seeing his massive frame in it. Elethor went to the door and let them in when I was presentable, standing at his scrying mirror with a brush and my combs, setting my hair into place.

           “I liked you better before.” Dark said with clear disappointment followed by a sharp “Ow!” uttered simultaneously with a meaty smack. I turned to see him ducked to the side, Dracia with her arm out stretched, and scowling at him. “She doesn’t even know what I said!” he complained “What is she smacking me for!?” I raised an eyebrow at him and inclined my head as gracefully as I could towards her.

            “She’s a woman,” I said with a shrug, “and apparently she knows you well.” He laughed at me and she made to smack him again but this time he caught her arm mid swing and pulled her to him, crushing his mouth over hers in an almost brutal and demanding kiss. I looked to Elethor and as I looked back to them she was almost melting into his embrace and I couldn’t help but smile.

              “Are they always like this?” I asked my beloved as he poured me a glass of a rich dark juice from the pewter pitcher on the tray. He handed it to me as he said,

              “Nearly always, amazing isn’t it?” I hid my grin with the tankard and took a swallow. The clear love and devotion these two displayed was just that… amazing.

            The four of us breakfasted at the small table, and I could not help myself but to stare for almost the entire meal out the bank of windows, that had until now always been covered by thick, black velveteen drapes. The landscape outside looked crisp and cold but was absolutely breathtaking in its beauty.

           Elethor must have said my name, more than once because I startled when he laid his hand on my arm, waking from my own thoughts as if from a dream.

          “Sirona are you all right?” he asked me eyes gentle and worried. I smiled at him and laid my hand over his.

           “I’m fine, it’s just so beautiful here,” I commented, my eyes straying back to the serene snow capped mountains. “I just wish it were warmer.” I said with a mock shiver. He laughed and we returned to our meal.

           “I’ll have that armor fixed just inside the hour, in fact,” Dark said heaving himself to his feet, “I’ll finish it up now. Damned links are so small; I’m used to plate not this flimsy chain crap.” He sat down and started working with my Hauberk again and this time I went over to inspect his work. I knelt on the floor beside him and examined the links he had replaces, very impressed.

          “This is really good.” I said blinking up at him. He grinned in appreciation and Dracia made a comment, he replied and the room was quiet again… He worked on my chain, and Dracia sharpened her swords and I set about cleaning up from our meal while Elethor checked his figures in his ledger one last time. It was almost an idyllic morning for us all when the door to the chamber burst inward, opening wide to smack against the wall. Dark was just setting the last link in my chain and looked up with the meanest expression I had ever seen on a man while Dracia leapt from her seat, fading into seemingly nothing. Elethor’s jewel spun fiercely between his outstretched hands and I simply stood there, calmly my prayers fluttering against the roof of my mouth begging to be spoken aloud.

          Billy stood in the doorway disheveled a stricken look upon his face and called out to Elethor, everyone relaxed imperceptibly as the words began to pour from his mouth… I didn’t know what was happening, but I knew in the deepest recess of my heart that whatever it was, it was not going to be good.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Some new changes, some small changes...

... and a little hint of news.

So I am sure anyone that hasn't noticed will by the time you're finished reading this that a small change has been made to the face of the My Sirona blogsite.  If you look to the right, you will see a selection of YouTube videos.  These videos are called machinima and were done by my good friend Dracia (Assassin - Lvl 50 - Ariel server.)

Stay tuned both in the Aion official forums and here for something very special that Dracia is hard at work on featuring the My Sirona cast of characters and Aion sub-universe.  I promise, it will be worth it.

Until then, fly high Daevas!


Forty Six

           I listened to the storm outside Elethor’s window in the otherwise quiet dark of his chambers. A fire burned within the hearth and made the occasional pop or crack as the wood gave way to the flames. The sound the rain made as it lashed against the windowpane and cascaded down the drain pipes and gutters was almost soothing and echoed against the stone walls. I lay nude beneath the blankets and sheets, my head on his shoulder, the fingers of my left hand curling idly in the hair behind his ear and the rest of my arm lay draped across his chest. He caressed my body beneath the sheets with a gentle clawed hand his other resting where my ribs curved inward, just above my hip. I had slung one of my legs over his, and we lay there in his bed just wanting to be as close to each other as we possibly could. Neither of us spoke, there was no need at this moment in time.

           I had cried and cried against his chest, and he had let me, murmuring softly into my hair that he loved me and to let it out, not once asking me to stop. Finally his patience, when it came to our situation, ran out and he roughly grabbed my chin forcing my eyes to meet his as he vowed to me,

           “I do not care if I have to move heaven or earth or do battle with Aion himself I promise you one day this pain will be a thing of the past and that we will be together. I love you Sirona, and if this is the last night I am to have you in my arms for some time, I am going to make it memorable for the both of us.”

           He had crushed his mouth over mine then and I had relented, melting into his embrace and allowing him to whatever he wished. Now we lay comfortably, the sounds of the storm and the warmth of the fire comforting us, even if the thoughts that kept us awake were anything but. He looked down at me, the sharp movement of his chin catching the vision at the corner of my eye causing me to look up quickly in return. He smiled at me and kissed my forehead gently.

          “I don’t want to leave.” I said, memorizing the every curve and line of his handsome face.

          “I do not want you to go.” He held me tighter for a moment before relaxing his hold on me back to a gentling thing. I laid my head back down on his chest, my neck beginning to ache from the extreme angle and stared over our legs toward the fire watching the golden light dance over the shadowy furniture in the chamber.

           “The fifth day of every month?” I asked, needing assurance that we’d at least see one another or maintain contact in some way.

          “If I am not there, or you are not, I promise you there will be a letter beneath the rock I showed you, I promise you. I may be losing you again keairrah, but I will not lose you like I did before, never again, I swear it.” I held to him a little tighter than before and made a promise to him.

          “You won’t lose me Elethor, I promise. I also promise that if I cannot make it, there will be a letter for you, just as you showed me. I don’t like that we must live like this…” my voice broke, the tears cracking it in two and welling hot and immediate in my eyes. He smoothed his hand down my arm that crossed his chest, his other hand making soothing circles against my back and we fell silent, listening to the storm and the fire.

          “I would live like this forever if it was required, but I tell you now without you I don’t really live at all, just when you are here.” He kissed the top of my head and murmured a gentle sleep spell, I knew the cant and intonation of the words, hearing them before and knowing what they meant, but never before had I heard anything uttered with such loving care. It was slow acting, and as I drifted off the sound of the rain in the drainpipe and the crackling cheer of the fire was almost as calming as his touch. I was safe…

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Forty Five

          I tried to wrench out of the hold on me but to no avail, the persons fingers digging into my upper arms like adamantium bands. I turned my tearstained face to see the woman Elethor had introduced as Dracia had a firm grip on me and she was shaking her head solemn. I turned back to Elethor who stood in the center of the room, and the circle his Legion had made. The woman I now could clearly see was a Chanter had squared off his opposite, staff out in a combat ready stance. I blinked bewildered as I had seen her before, her face twisted with fury and deep hatred; she was the woman from the road… Her white hair crackled with power and floated out from her head and the curve of her horns like spider silk. I looked back to my beloved; his eyes aglow, a deep bloody red and he spoke just passed me to Dracia and Dark both, though I could not understand. I looked back to Dark who had the grace to explain briefly.

          “He’s asked us to keep you out of harm’s way while he… deals with the situation.”

          I felt my eyes widen as I turned back to Elethor in time for the woman to raise her voice loud and clear, a shockwave emanating from her staff, flying towards Elethor at an incredible rate. I screamed and struggled in the restraining hold Dracia had on me, lurching forward in her grasp. She wouldn’t let go and so I fought against her. She grumbled something through gritted teeth and a metal clad arm crossed my chest and pulled me away locking me solidly back against Dark’s plate chest, my feet kicking feebly above the stone floor.

           The spell she had used clashed against Elethor’s mage shields, the sound reverberating through the hall and setting my teeth on edge. His rich voice called out clearly words only understood by his fellow sorcerers versed in the arcane and the woman’s body twisted and transformed, her body stretching and lengthening, skin smoothing then roughening into the bark of a tree. I continued to struggle as he stalked around the tree, his voice low and dangerous yet still loud and clear to all of those gathered in the hall, though I knew not what he said.

          He spoke to all assembled there, looking at each face as he stalked around the woman in tree form, his voice angry and his expression sharp and I held still, hoping that the big Gladiator would relax his grip, but also very aware he was too smart for that. Elethor continued to address his people for what seemed like forever, turning back to the tree when it started to shift, plying a sleep spell to the woman as she changed back to normal. She stood there comatose as he finished speaking and he waited for her to wake up. I shouted for him not to let her, but he had some sort of point to prove because when she did she came awake hissing and spitting, swinging her staff in an arch that would surely strike him. I dare not close my eyes but at any moment I expected to hear the crunch of bone as her staff met his body, but it never happened.

          Elethor blinked out of existence, one moment there then just gone, vanished and the next he was several meters away, behind where he just stood. It was an awesome display of power and stilled me in my renewed struggle against Dark to break free and go to his aide. The Elethor I remembered from all those many years ago had been shy about his displays of power… well maybe shy isn’t the correct word, controlled would be more accurate. Zenton had always been the quick one to display his prowess. I blinked as the chanter stumbled, her staff swinging through air where my Elethor had once stood, her entire body twisting with the blow to a degree it looked painful and I felt sick, knowing what kind of damage it should have done had he still been in the direct path of her rage.

          He began to cast a complex spell, his voice sharp and every syllable of the language of the arcane dripping with concentration. The Chanter swung her staff again, but before the words finished leaving her lips the most terrifying and awful thing happened. The shadows of the room began to draw together, slipping along the floor and gathering beneath Elethor’s boots, before twisting and rising up behind his back. The inky blackness continued to rise and twist on itself, writhing into the most awful creature I had ever seen, looming high behind him arching forward and I was so very afraid, not for the woman, but for Elethor… The creature of shadow arched forward and for a mere second it seemed as if it were about to devour him whole, I screamed and bucked against the orichalcum clad arm that bound me as the creature arched higher behind Elethor before twisting and curving in on its self to smash down into the woman he fought, driving her up off her feet and into the stone floor.

          She lay there prone, unconscious, for now and Elethor spun, holding his arms wide and shouted to the assembled people of his legion before turning to me, his face schooled into a grim mask of stone, only the barest flinching around his eyes telling me what his display of power had cost him. He let his arms drop to his side, and looked passed me to Dark speaking a few solemn words to his friend. He held his arms out to me as the Gladiator let me go… I sobbed as my feet touched the floor and I ran to him, locking my arms around his shoulders, squeezing him tightly to my chest as the tears leaked down my face. His arms found their way around my waist and he hugged me, hands smoothing up my back even as he whispered soothingly in my ear. We did not dally, even before he could draw away from me enough to move he was steering us for the door, his people parting as he moved us passed them, Dark and Dracia falling in behind us, guarding our backs.

          “Aion’s light, what was that Elethor? What did you call? I was so afraid for you, what did you do?” I asked as he ushered us quickly through the halls of his legion’s house to his quarters. We reached his door within moments, his mouth set in a grim line as he moved us purposefully into his chambers, refusing to answer the myriad of questions I threw at him. He turned to his friends who remained in the hall and a short exchange commenced between them. Dark nodded, Dracia echoing the movement with a graceful inclination of her chin. Elethor shut the door, the last I saw of the two was Dracia slipping into her surroundings like a well worn cloak, turning invisible and seemingly taking up post outside the door while her beloved Dark strode down the hall, the long reach of his legs devouring in long strides the distance between us and his intended destination.

          The door shut and Elethor latched it, locking us inside before leaning forward heavily against the thick wood for a moment. I stood still and waited for a fraction of a moment to pass when he turned, strode to me and took me by the arms, his crystal eyes intense with worry as he looked me over, his voice strained with barely suppressed panic.

          “Are you hurt?” he asked me, “Are you injured in any way?” he ran his hands up and down my arms and across my shoulders, checking my collarbones for breaks before smoothing his hands down my ribs and hips. So intent was he with finding injury or imperfection with my body he missed the bewildered look on my face, he was about to run his hands lower, checking my legs when I stopped him with my own hands gently on either side of his face, making him look at me. I couldn’t help it, my face twisted with tears I couldn’t stop as I looked at the scorch marks and tears in his robes over his chest and shoulder where he had taken the strike intended for me… and where I could not heal him. His flesh was whole beneath the gape in the material, his skin smooth and perfect where it had been charred and bleeding before and I knew in that moment, that I could not stay here any longer than I all ready had. That it was too dangerous for him and that my being here would get him hurt or worse… that it would cause me to lose him forever.

           I crumbled then, collapsing into one of the wingback chairs before his fireplace, wrapping my arms around myself and I let myself give in to the helpless anguish I felt, allowing it to issue forth in a bitter heartbroken wail, the shards of which tumbled from me with my uncontrollable sobbing. He knelt by me and gathered me into his arms, resting my head on his chest and rocked me with a grim certainty as he made soothing noises into my hair, he did not ask me what was wrong, because he knew as well as I what it was that tortured me now, he knew it as well as I did… and I think he felt it too.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Forty Four

          “Hey you two, storm is supposed to blow in tonight, you might want to pack it in and come inside for now.” I blinked up at Elethor and turned to see Dark striding across the practice courts a lithe woman in leather gliding silently beside him. Her skin was a dusky amethyst and her outfit showed a lot of it, her hair was long and straight and was back from her face, leaving her horns to curve wicked and severe to frame a lovely, no gorgeous face. Her legs were long and kept stride with the large Gladiator easily. It was plain to see, even from this distance she was both limber and lethal, the two swords crossed at her back marking her out as an assassin if anyone looking at her was too thick to realize it by the way she moved.

          She stalked forward with liquid grace and circled me and Elethor, the look in her eyes decidedly unfriendly. She spoke in Asmodian to both Dark and Elethor and they answered her questions both of them a little stiff and uncertain, Elethor’s arms resting lightly about me ready for anything it seemed. She reached out with her clawed fingers at me and I remained steady she touched my hair of all things and the touch was light, she smoothed her claws through it and finally retreated to Dark’s side, leaning into him as she spoke. Both men looked surprised at her actions and as Dark’s large arms encircled the woman drawing her back against his chest Elethor made the introductions.

         “This is Dracia,” he said motioning to the woman in Dark’s arms. He then spoke to her and motioned towards me. She gave Elethor a dirty look and made a retort. Dark tightened his arms around her and bowed low over her, laying a kiss against the side of her neck, speaking low and insistent, with his lips hidden by the fall of her hair. She watched me as he spoke, her expression hard and angry but something he said changed her expression. It softened somehow and she looked passed me at Elethor and when she looked back at me she pursed her lips and inclined her head once.

          “What just happened?” I asked my lover. He turned me in his embrace to look at him and his eyes held a gentle pain that made my heart wrench in my chest with the desire to smooth that look away. In a flicker the look disappeared and was safely hidden behind the aristocratic mask he had always worn in the time before the cataclysm. Such a familiar look on his new face that the sudden ache in my chest eased and I went up on the tips of my toes to kiss him softly, a quick, almost chaste touch of lips. He smiled as I let myself down and steered me toward the indoors as the first distant peal of thunder rumbled through the atmosphere and the faintest warning of a breeze picked up.

          We walked down a long hallway, Dark and Dracia just ahead of us and descended a flight of stairs. As we reached the bottom was when I first heard it. It was the beautiful mournful melody that only a violin could make and it echoed through the stone hallway crashing softly into my wine-soaked senses and carrying me away on a gentle sea of memory…

           “Dance with me Sirona.” I looked up at Zenton from my seated position and smiled softly. He never asked for anything our proud friend, he always demanded and my night had not gone well and wasn’t about to get better and it was time for me to make a stand.

          “No thank you Zenton.” I said softly, my own brows beginning to knit together as his expression began to cloud over. I was not in the mood to deal with his arrogance. I rubbed gently at the wine stain in the skirt of my dress with a napkin and wished whole heartedly that I had never come to the annual academy ball. Claire and Evensong had both gone off with fine young gentleman and I had been content to sit alone and watch the dancers swirl around the floor. I was awkward and I knew it and so I never danced at these things. I was used to simple dances at festivals with other hard working farm folk. Not to the elegant and poised angelic frippery that paraded passed me here.

           Zenton tried again to get me up to dance with him and I snapped at him. His expression went dark as pitch and he stalked off and as my eyes followed his back through the crowd I began to turn red because here came Elethor, perfectly pressed and polished in his fine black suit. I bowed my head and continued scrubbing at the wine spot in the skirt of my dress my frustration blossoming in the form of tears in my eyes. I didn’t know how to dance like them, I didn’t speak like them, all cultured and well educated and I wasn’t bold like Claire who didn’t care what anyone thought. My self-machinations were interrupted with a gentle finger under my chin as Elethor tipped my face up so he could see me. He sighed and knelt before me pulling a handkerchief from his breast pocket and wiping gently at my eyes.

           “Zenton do this?” he asked gently. I shook my head and sniffed. “Then what’s wrong?” he asked.

            “I don’t know why I became a Daeva Elethor. I’m not like any of you, I’m not rich or smart or graceful.” He stopped me with a finger to my lips.

            “Who dumped wine in your lap?” he asked, and I told him. He snorted. “That jackass,” he muttered. “I’ll deal with him later. Did he say why?” he asked then and I nodded.

          “I stepped on him.” I whispered. “I embarrassed him, but he dragged me out on the dance floor and I tried to tell him I didn’t know how to dance but he wasn’t going to take no for an answer and then I was out there and I…” he planted his palm across my mouth to shut me up, his blue eyes sparkling with barely suppressed laughter.

          “You don’t know how to dance?” he asked. I felt the blush creep up my face, the heat spreading up my neck and across my cheeks all the way up to my hairline and I nodded, humiliated. He straightened and stood, hauling me to my feet. “Then it is time to teach you.”

            I tried to protest but wished ardently not to make a scene as he towed me through the tables and chairs to the sweeping expanse of dance floor as the violin began its mournful song. I swallowed my heartbeat back in my chest and stood stiffly as he drew me close, placing his lips beside my ear to murmur to me,

           “Relax, good… close your eyes and move with me, good now follow my lead, just like mace practice.”

            I closed my eyes and as he stepped back I stepped forward until naturally we just flowed with the rest of the dancers around us, as a raindrop merged with a sea, allowing the current to take us…

           When I opened my eyes again the Elethor of now held me close, his eyes gently searching my face as he half smiled and half worried. It was so silent you could hear if a mouse was present and I stepped back a little to look around us. We were in a meeting hall, all of the tables and benches pushed off to the walls, the podium at the back of the stage where several daeva stood with their instruments. Elethor’s Legion circled us, those that had been dancing had stopped to stare and I felt suddenly and acutely exposed… What had I done?

          Dark spoke loud and clear, diverting the attention of Elethor’s legion who wore a mix of expressions ranging from curiosity, to shock and some even further down the line with an open seething hatred. Elethor put his lips against my ear and spoke low and fast, translating what Dark was saying.

          “I believe Dark is correct, he is telling them that you have obviously had too much wine and when we reached the bottom of the stair and you heard the music you were simply entranced…” nervous laughter twittered through the gathering in the room, “he said that Elysian music must be awful and if your reaction is anything to go by perhaps we should play our songs at the next fortress siege if we wish to succeed.” I bowed my head and bit my lip, my chest tightening with fear as the silence thickened and cooled.

            I was just about to let out the breath I’d been holding, grateful that it was okay when the calm shattered as someone’s rage boiled over. It started with a deafening crack as the butt of a staff connected with the stone floor; a woman’s voice rang out clear and strong in a single word of power unknown to me. Elethor’s arms opened, releasing me and he shoved me behind him turning and taking the blow intended for me square in the chest. I was knocked to the floor with him, his legion all stepping back towards the walls, creating a ring around us. Elethor lay stunned; the wind knocked out of him, the woman responsible for the blow standing over us screaming, eyes blazing with fury. I crawled toward Elethor, panic rising in my throat, tears borne of fear slipping from my lashes I started my prayer hands glowing and covered the painful wound in his upper shoulder and chest with light and released the healing energy into his body…

            It did nothing. I sobbed panic rising in my chest and tried again reciting the prayer perfectly and released the healing light into his body but again nothing happened. Strong hands gripped my upper arms and tried to pull me back but I shouted and tried yet again to heal the injury… to no avail. Finally the hands gripped down with no argument and pulled me backwards I struggled against their grip to get back to his side even as one of his legion’s clerics approached and did what I could not. Elethor sat up the look on his face bitter and angry, his eyes aglow with the fierce light of his power and he rounded on the woman, her staff out and ready to do battle…

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Forty Three

          I raised my hands out of the heated pool and cupped his face between them, leaning in for a kiss that was the barest whisper of a touch of my lips to his. His hands stayed on my back below the water line and gently kneaded the tight muscles in my lower back. I traced his lower lip with damp fingertips and for a moment could hardly believe this was real. He made a wry twist of his lips and murmured,

          “It is still so new isn’t it?”

          I nodded gently and bowed my forehead to his, closed my eyes and just relaxed listening to the gentle lap and fall of water around us and the soft murmur of conversation from the other pool. I was so still for so long I became slightly entranced, allowing my mind to let go, and slip into a light meditative state. Elethor was simply content to hold me and enjoy the moment as much as I but finally in a gentle, almost wistful tone he said,

          “Head back, keairrah,” his hands splayed low on my back and hips to allow me to arch back into the water with some grace. I bent backwards and dipped my hair in the pool as he had instructed, managing to get it all without fully submerging sitting up again, the tendrils of hair sticking to my neck and tickling my shoulders longer now that it was straight and wet. He smiled and held out a hand and with a flick of his wrist the bottle he wished left the neatly stacked platter at the pools edge and levitated to him. I quirked an eyebrow at the display of power which he had never been apt to perform before the cataclysm that I could remember. He smiled rakishly at me.

          “I would not let you go for a trifle such as this, not now and not ever.” I smoothed my hands up his shoulders where they rested, touched by his words and allowed them to come up the sides of his neck before burying them in the hair at the back of his neck, where his mane began and crushed my lips over his in a demanding kiss. He returned the kiss patiently drawing away slightly then a bit more insistently. He pulled one of my hands away from the side of his neck and laid a gentle plant of lips against the skin of the inside of my wrist where my pulse fluttered.

          I closed my eyes and let myself go in that small feeling for a moment when the smell of moon flowers brought me back to the water and the man and what it was exactly we were supposed to be doing there. Elethor poured a small amount of the liquid from the vial into the palm of his opposite hand and pressed the crystal into my free one. I capped it for him and held the bottle careful not to drop it. He rubbed the soap between his hands and reached out to work it into my hair, his hands returning to my back to support me so I could bend back once again to rinse the strands clean. I returned to a vertical position a little dizzy from the awkward position I had held. His lips curved appreciatively as his crystalline eyes roamed over me and I smiled back. He took the bottle of expensive soap from my hands and waved it back to its place on the platter. We rested in each other’s embrace for several moments when a woman cleared her throat behind me. I jumped and Elethor’s arms tightened around me reassuringly.

          She asked him something and I molded myself to him, hiding my front against his modestly, laying my head on his shoulder as he stroked my back both in and out of the water reassuringly. He answered the woman and I could hear the note of relief in his tone, the timbre of his voice controlled and as soothing as his hand on my back as he made his lengthy reply. I heard the soft click of her claws on the stone as she retreated and realized after several moments that they had all gone, and we were alone in the chambers with simply the sound of tinkling water against stone.

          “She will bring you something to wear and we will get out,” He mouthed against my ear, voice low and soothing yet still intense. “…though if I had it my way, I would take you again here and now.” I shivered in his embrace though not with cold and he laughed. He cradled me in his arms until she returned, another short and pleasant exchange between the two and she was gone again and he helped me out of the pool, wrapping me in a thick absorbent bath sheet, taking another for himself. The woman had brought a dress; the match to the white one Elethor had given me the last time I was here, though that one remained back in Elysea.

          I slipped into it and turned around. Elethor nodded appreciatively, and finished buckling the clasp at his throat on his tunic. He held out his hand to me and I took it, and he pressed my combs into my palm, I fixed my hair the way I liked it and we left the bath chamber together, my arm linked with his, hand lightly resting upon his wrist. He covered my hand with his and we moved up the hall, I shivered and this time it was with the chill that pervaded the air and he stopped in his tracks, unfastening his cloak and clasping it around my shoulders. He murmured slightly and tapped the edge of the material three times and I was warmer, just like that.

         I wrapped my arms around his and we continued on, though I did not know where it was he led us. It was soon apparent when we stepped into a wide open practice room for the martial arts where it was we were going, the room was open to the elements and a wide veranda for flight training beyond, and set with fine china and silver cutlery was a small table for two, lit beautifully with candles and waiting for us were two glasses of a rich ruby hued wine. I stopped and stared for a moment at the scene so perfectly set and turned bewildered eyes upon Elethor, who smiled gently at me. He leaned down so carefully and kissed me then, and with that kiss he told me so much more than he ever could with words that he loved me.

         He drew back and pulled out one of the chairs for me, I wrapped myself in his cloak and took the proffered seat as he tucked it beneath me, edging me close to the table. He sat opposite me and we were quiet for several moments, he spoke first.

          “What I would not give for you to stay with me.” He sipped at his wine and I cast my eyes at the pristine white table cloth.

          “I wish more than anything that I could.” I said in answer.

          “This frustrates me to no end.” He said with such vehemence. I looked at him sharply, and studied his face, his forehead marred by the deep lines of a frightening scowl.

          “I am going to have to go back.” I said softly, and with no little heartbreak.

          “Must you?” he asked “Could you not just stay here with me?” his voice faltered and I did not mock him, instead I took a breath and spoke the painful truth.

          “…and what my love? Remain hidden? Wait until the adaptations took hold of me, always watching, always fearing your Shadow Judges appearance? Always wondering as you leave for this battle or that battle if it will be the last and that you would never return to me?” I bowed my head and my lip trembled betraying the strong emotion I felt. “I could not bear it; I would go mad with the need to do something.” He came round the table and knelt before me and took my hands in his, letting them rest in my lap.

          “It’s a foolish notion, I know, but what would you have me do? I cannot bear this distance, not knowing if you are safe, or if you hurt and knowing I am powerless to save you the pain.” He kissed my fingers; head bowed his face hidden from me.

          “Keep faith. It is all I would have you do. Aion has a plan for us, I know not what he wills but we must keep our faith and know that some day we will be together.” He looked at me sharply searching my eyes and what he saw must have been enough, because he rose with a last gentle squeeze of my fingers and retook his seat.

          A little shugo appeared and our conversation halted for the time being as he set out a meal for us from a small silver cart he had brought with him. It looked like a lovely and flavorful pasta that steamed gently in the crisp outdoor air, and when the Shugo had gone and it was just me and my beloved again I realized I was famished. We ate and drank our wine and spoke softly of memories that spanned so far back in time they were vaguely hazy for the both of us, we laughed and at some points fell silent in tribute to the friends we had lost and I failed to notice when the twilight of the Asmodian day faded into deepest night with only the dwindling candles on the table left to push back the dark. Elethor watched me by the light of the flickering candles as we fell into a comfortable silence.

           He rose and came to me, holding out a hand and as I placed my hand in it and rose to my feet he led me to the railing to look out over the grounds of his holding. It was amazing, the lights that emanated from the flora and fauna were bright and surreal and so amazingly beautiful in hues of deep blue, purple and pink. I stared; stunned by the twinkling lights of the tiny sparkle bugs wafting lazily from plant to plant. I looked at Elethor who only had eyes for me, and the question… is it always like this? died on my lips before I could speak it. He leaned down so carefully and kissed me and my heart seized in my chest and I swallowed hard and kissed him back and in that moment it too everything in me not to say. Yes, I will stay with you.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Forty Two

          When I woke I found myself curled on my side, Elethor warm at my back his arms wrapped tight around me. It was a good way to wake up and even better when he brushed his lips against the back of my bare shoulder and murmured against my skin.

           “Good morning keairrah, how did you sleep?”

          It was hard to concentrate to form a coherent reply when he was trailing kisses like liquid fire across my skin, and so I did not try. I turned in his embrace and pressed my lips to his and relished the feel of his arms tightening around me, locking against my back and crushing me to him. My body came alive under his touch and my breath escaped me in a startled gasp as he lifted me bodily and laid me on my back so reverently, his hips matching mine and his hands finding my wrists. His grip was firm but not tight or frightening as he stared me in the eyes and raised my arms above my head, pinning them to the mattress. I was not afraid and it showed in my eyes, this must have reassured him because he kept me at his mercy and bent slowly and gently as if waiting for me to stop him, but I didn’t and he continued his descent to lay a kiss over the beating pulse in my neck. He trailed kisses down the line of my collar bone and continued even further down my body, his hands sliding softly down my arms when he could no longer reach to hold my wrists.

          I left my hands above my head my eyes closing as I relished the feel of him moving his lips across my breasts and along my ribs, trailing down my stomach until finally with a final press of lips on the jut of my hip bone the feel of him stopped. I opened my eyes and let out a breath I hadn’t known I was holding, finding he had retreated to kneel on the mattress beside me. His hands rested on the tops of his thighs and an odd little smile graced his lips. I tipped my head to the side and let the query into my expression and his smile grew wider.

            “I’ve longed for this moment before the tower fell, and I have longed secretly for it ever since… I wish to never forget this. A moment to drink you in, allow me that?”

          I nodded, slowly and remained as I lay relaxing and did the same, watching him watching me and I felt the mirror to his smile on my own lips, until with a joyous laugh he leaned forward as I did, his arms circling high on my middle as my own went about his well muscled shoulders and we held each other and laughed for no other reason than we were happy until the laughter dissolved into kissing and the kissing grew heated, our hands lightly caressing one another until neither could stand it any longer and we made love, slowly savoring one another for as long as we could.

          We finished and I lay breathing heavily, Elethor’s ear pressed above my heart his eyes closed in pure bliss as he listened to its frantic beating as it fluttered in my chest. I combed gentle fingers through his hair allowing them to trail down the mane at the back of his neck before trailing them across his shoulder only to repeat the motion over again. His back rose and fell above me as he caught his own breath and I smiled so contentedly and tried very hard not to think about my return to Elysea.

            After long moments he rested his chin on my chest between my breasts, gazing up my body into my eyes. I smiled at him and quirked an eyebrow.

          “I do believe we need a bath.” He said finally and I laughed loud and clear and full throated and he smiled broader and raised himself off me, for which I was heartily sorry for. He pulled on a pair of soft worn in cloth breeches and I stood up. He gathered the top sheet from the bed and wrapped me in it, laughing as I spun in an obedient circle to twist myself into the cloth, tucking the end in close beneath my arm so I was sheathed in it from armpit to floor. He drew me close, his hands light on my hips as he bent to kiss me and I kissed him back reverently.

           I let out a whoop and laughed again as without warning he stooped, placed an arm beneath my knees and the other at my back and lifted me easily spinning me in a full circle. I wrapped my arms about his shoulder and kissed him, drawing back one hand cupping the side of his face, and smoothed my thumb along the strong line of his jaw.

           “I can walk now my love.” I whispered, leaning my forehead against his, closing my eyes and absorbing the feel of him so near to me.

          “Yes, but perhaps I feel the need to carry you.” He said. “Besides, the sheet is too long, you may trip.” He murmured. I drew back so that he may see where he was going.

           “We wouldn’t want that.” I said with a mock severity to my tone, letting him have his way.

           “Indeed we would not.” He smiled and strode for the door stooping a bit so I may open the latch. We followed the same route we had taken so many months ago only this time we did encounter people in the halls and with varied and mixed reactions. At first it was the Shugos of the Legion House, retained to care for the building. Some bustled from room to room changing linens much like at an inn, others filled the oil lamps at head height to keep them burning through the never ending dark of Asmodae. Some stopped and stared a tail or an ear twitching in curiosity, some went about their business as if nothing were amiss. Some whispered as we passed, but most remained silent.

          The Legionaries of Pantheon we encountered were very few though I stiffened in Elethor’s arms at their appearance. Two of his men stopped cold in their conversation in one hall and put their backs to the wall, both struck dumb at the appearance of their Brigade general carrying an Elyos woman down their hall. Another carrying a stack of books and scrolls tripped over his own feet, the papers and tomes crashing to the wood floor. The man knelt dumbfounded and tried to gather them though his eyes remained locked to Elethor’s back as we passed by. I looked into my beloved’s face as he continued on his path, so unconcerned and I let myself worry for the both of us. After we passed yet a third set of his legionaries a man and a woman who both jumped back in surprise the woman exclaiming something in the Asmodian tongue I raised my concerns.

           “Elethor, should we be doing this?” I asked, the worry tingeing my voice.

          “These are my people, I trust them and they trust me to lead them. We have nothing to fear this time. When you were injured so badly before, I feared I may lose you forever and so I secreted you away until I could get you the help that you desperately needed.” He bowed his head and continued on. “I’ll not lie to them again.” He finally said, bending to allow me to open the catch on the door to the subterranean bathing chambers. Laughter filtered up from below, the laughter of comrades at arms after a hard victorious fight. The sound was familiar no matter what the language spoken between the spates of laughing was.

          Elethor descended the stairs and the laughter died. I held tightly to him as he traversed the room to a smaller pool that steamed gently in the low lantern light. The pool where the laughter had come from held six individuals, two women and four men. All with either astonished or stricken faces. One of the men gathered his wits and spoke sharply, the sentence he spoke ending in a very clear question. Elethor, his back to them stiffened with me in his arms. His expression clouded over and became very dark, his voice low and threatening he made his reply. The man who had spoken to him blinked and his shoulders dropped. Elethor set me on my feet and smiled at me though it was tight around the edges and I could see he was being very controlled in his actions.

           He untucked the corner of the sheet where it was secured at the top and unwound it from my body, enough to hold it out and use the sheet to block the view of the others behind us, preserving my modesty so that I may slip into the dark pool, unseen. When I was chest deep in the water, and hidden by the rock edge of the pool its self Elethor slipped out of his pants and into the water. Modesty did not seem to be a high priority among the Asmodians; though I was ever grateful he preserved mine.

          Slowly a low conversation among his legionaries picked up again, though I could tell they watched us curiously and with no small amount of hostility. The place between my shoulders positively itched with how their eyes burned a hole through me. Elethor took a seat on the bench set below the waterline, his back to the wall where he could see the rest of the room and keep watch. He trusted his people, yet he was still not without caution. He held out a hand to me and I took it, gliding through the water noiselessly to him. He had me sit in his lap, straddling his waist so that I could look only at him and it helped ease my nervousness.

          “No harm will come to you under my roof keairrah, I promise you.” he said, and I believed him.