I burst through the portal onto Teminon landing and hit the ground running. I vaguely remember hearing Reilla shout from behind me to slow down, but I couldn’t… I wouldn’t. My Legion needs me, was the only thought I had as I dove off the edge of the landing unfurling my wings, feathers snapping against the wind as I bore myself up and out toward the Western Shard. I caught up to several other Elysians making their way to the fight, the apprehension thick between us as we fell into a natural formation, touching down at the lower end of the shard. Reilla caught up to me panting and we waited as each warrior Daeva took off for the upper layer in rapid succession, the layer teleporter sweating and winded with his efforts as he put soldier after soldier through the proper incantation to infuse their wings with strength.
I stepped up to him, mace at the ready in one hand shield on my arm and as the words died on his lips I was aloft, beating my wings, flight muscles in my chest screaming as I flew straight and true and burst through the crust at the top layer. I tucked and rolled neatly my wings dissipating into the aether my feet landing square as I bent my knees to take the rough impact of landing from that height. I stood and strode forward fluidly into the clash of metal, the shouts and screams and the light display of spells, the first prayer of healing touching my lips.
Light gathered in my hands and a wounded Daeva stood straight, turned and dove back into the churning mass of bodies, her polearm arcing cleanly downward into inky black wings. I fought and healed my way to the front of the fray, Elyos packed tightly around me until finally the shining figure of my beloved in his icy silver-blue plate rose head and shoulders above the crowd and I was by his side. He had his great sword out and as he raised it an Asmodian assassin darted in to drive a dagger into a chink in his plate, I dove forward and rammed my shield into her path, the blade glancing off the metal with a shriek. I rooted her in place and the Elyos around me dispatched her, Aalairius laughed, a booming jovial sound and I heard him shout above the din,
“Thanks beautiful, glad you could join me!” The Elyos were being pressed back by an onslaught and I put my back to my beloved’s and healed all that were close in my Legion, the complexity of the prayer taking longer but the result well worth it as at least six of my compatriots revived and pushed forward, meeting the Asmodian force with stronger opposition than expected.
The two sides would surge and ebb as two great seas, crashing into one another before receding, a smattering of broken bodies in their wake, I would resurrect those that I could from their torpor, in a fine dance of being close enough to accomplish the task, yet far enough back from the front lines, to not be trapped in the surge and thrust to the Asmodian side. Once upon a time I had relished battles like these, but now I worried, the constant niggling thought at the back of my mind as I performed my duties… was Evensong in there? Or was her Haji… Was my Elethor in there trying to hurt me? Did they know that I was here? Then it was, as this thought flickered through my mind, I finished casting out, calling the souls of the fallen to me. I noticed too late that I stood alone, the Elyos force had fallen back and I was in the open. I was pulled violently in the inescapable snare of blue light from a templar, and before I could shout… before I could scream, they were upon me.
I felt the Templar’s blade enter my back in an assured deathblow had I been mortal, it caused pain sharp and immediate, a tearing and a searing through the center of my being as the weapon erupted through my chest and I was left gasping for air my lungs could no longer hold. I had just enough time to let slip a silent plea to Aion for mercy, for a quick small death… my last thought as I slid to my knees my body dissipating, my physical being letting go of the world was thank you Father, thank you that it was not my Elethor…
Elethor. I had locked him away safe in my heart and forced myself to think about him seldom. It was strange that as I was struck down that my thoughts would go to him…. My last vision that played out within my mind was of crystalline eyes and dusky blue skin, and the strong features of his face as he had carried me across the ice and snow the night he had found me. Oh Aion, how I missed him.
My physical self dissolved and was pulled through the aether to where my soul was bound, it was an uncomfortable and scary thing for a Daeva, not always knowing if you would or could make it back to your bind point… Never knowing if this could be the time you were lost for good.
Something felt wrong. It was taking impossibly long to reach the obelisk; I should have come back to my physical form by now. I was just about to tip off the razor’s edge of panic when I felt myself contract and coalesce, coming together becoming less transparent and phasing more into being. I collapsed to my knees on the wooden floor; sucking air into lungs that were absolutely convinced they were still torn and could not hold any. I knelt there for what felt like an eternity and tried to relearn how to breathe. Everything was blurred around the edges and slowed, as it always was with soul sickness.
I forced myself to stand shakily, my wings dissipating back to the aether, my shield a comfortable weight on my arm, my mace resting on the floor gripped loosely in my hand. I went over the inventory of all of my soul-bound items in my mind, ensuring all were intact and in place and tried to ease through the rest of the fractured and crazed thoughts racing through my mind. One thought in particular screamed louder than all the rest…
You aren’t in Teminon! Teminon is stone not wood! You’re somewhere else!
I turned agonizingly slow and saw him standing there, at some sort of podium. He was beautiful, the rich blue of his tunic complimenting the dusky shade of his skin. I blinked in shock and confusion and rasped his name…