The Long Night
“What was done is now undone.”
It started as a normal day, in no way was I expecting how the day would unfold. Well, normal enough for me, I suppose in my unassuming way. It was time for Fancy Cakes so I exchanged my way-to-warm frostwoven robes for the drape that always looked so pretty on me. Running fingers through my hair I looked into the mirror at Fairbreeze and thought to myself. “Good Enough.” Once again I coughed, and I brushed aside the handkerchief from my lips to reveal the color of deep crimson. Ah yes. Must remember Del’s medicine.
At first the night was quiet, friends gathered in their groups and I watched quietly while I ate my chocolate slice and goldthorn tea. Couples came and went in their usual way. I huddled close to myself, watching, wondering. Soon it became a zoo of colors and scents, and so many tongues talking at once.
At least Reli had forgiven me for choosing what I had done. After all, she was shadow herself mostly. In fact, I was wearing lighter clothes than her that day. Conversations picked up. People were made into turkeys. It all seemed normal enough even with Lady Bloodsword arrived in her finery. I spoke to her about the Light. The others ran away after she started getting preachy but I really didn’t mind. Better than all this shadow talk within me. Too much shadow after all makes one unstable, corrupt.
More people showed and I was overwhelmed, leaving to go to the inn for a breather. When I returned I ran into Del. He stopped his conversation with a forsaken whose name I didn’t get until much later. He smelled of lust and happiness, though my own sorrow would quickly overwhelm him. He honored me, by coming over, though I could not hold back the flood of tears against my own floodgates.
He smelled it as did the two forsaken; The taint, the stench of the narcotic fel running through my bloodstream. I coughed hard, life flowing through me to my hands, to my features and staining me. The others smelled it then, wondered it’s source. Were they hungry? I barely felt a breeze when I found myself being carted away like a sheep to market in Del’s arms.
I barely had time to talk before I was placed in one of the Sanctum’s soft beds. I knew this place. It was where I had gone, where I still go, to receive my training as a warlock. Fel was everywhere here; such rich. beautiful darkness that so exquisitely danced with the other components of the arcane.
The pain struck me faster than a rogue’s strike. I curled up on the bed writhing then, feeling Him, the demon inside me wanting to come out. Feeling he had been denied this time after I had paid the price he would force himself out of my being. There were bright pink flashes. The words of Del flowing from him smooth as chocolate. He had a soulstone. I didn’t have time to think about where he happened to get one of those. After all, he wasn’t a warlock to my knowledge.
Junior had appeared within all of this somehow. I don’t really recall how he got -there and they spoke. I half-drifted between the world of Silvermoon and the dark, endless world of the fel. The two friends spoke, Del holding onto that orb that seemed to be sucking away my energy, The fel energy so full of euphoria that my people craved it. Will it overflow then? The power of the demon raced through me, too much.
I was pinned to the flow of eternity, the rise and fall of thousands of eons. The chorus of voices led by him, My demon. I fought him even then in my world, as I could hear Del’s cries of pain. How dare he hurt my dear friend? Or was it really me that was hurting him?
Del’s voice asked for another soul orb. I knew his would be full since it had been absorbing all the radiant energy coming off of me. I heard them then, clearly. Shuffling in my robes I hastily handed my own personal orb, attuned to myself only to Junior. What choice did I really have to make?
Pain then, and unbelievable force. I felt myself falling again. Even in this familiar state one never grows accustomed to possession. It is, like taking a back seat to your own life. You see your soul, your being, but you are there and not there at the same time. Your eyes are yours but not yours. I heard myself screaming but it wasn’t me. It was far too distant to be me.
Gasps , and somehow I smelled the scent of two forsaken now. I disliked them, but they weren’t harming me now so what was the point. Not that I had any control at the moment. Other thoughts were pressing. Other things needed release. Bonds were breaking, snapping, unraveling.
Demonic was flowing through my lips. I could not control it. My mind pushed back into the darkness where one finds the forgotten things in life. One of the forsaken gasped. I could only imagine it was because I had grown immense purple wings. My feet and hands grew claws and my body was powerful and sleek. Could feel them as if he were part of me so intricately woven like a tapestry.
I heard their voices, calling to it. The demon within me seemed to respond. Pushing me aside with its laughter. Easily using my body as it’s own plaything. I did not feel the snap of my limbs as he thrashed about. Using my power for his gain. I smelled felfire. It came from my own hands. But not my hands. His.
Del was screaming, Junior’s lips were moving but I could not hear the words. Something was glinting in his hands, a blur of smoke. Burning. Suffering. Hate. Pain. I screamed but with the voice of Him. I felt it then echo within me, and in each one assembled at this impromptu ritual. The walls themselves shook with the fury of the banished.
Then silence a moment as I felt. Nothing? His presence was gone now. There was whispering, but it wasn’t his. The enormous weight of him no longer pressed against me. Things hurt, and the world spiraled. Del’s voice was cold and metallic now, but still distant.
Were they successful? I tried to move my hands, but found myself falling now again. Retrograde motion as I fell into the plush velvet of the bed. No hand offered to help me, but slowly my own eyes opened to the lights of the Sanctum. Eight pairs of eyes upon me. Eight? I had gained an audience it seemed.
Slowly back to this world. I felt Junior’s large warm body against my own, held like a shield against anything. He was different though, something was odd about him. I can’t quite place it, but something is off about him now. Del had wanted the others to leave, to leave the rest of my healing to him, but he was exhausted. He had absorbed so much of the dangerous fel his eyes were shimmering like ever-burning candles. His armor was glinting to with a dark fel-light. There was a chorus of raised voices before he left the room.
I blinked them to find the forsaken professor looking at me, inspecting the physical wounds. I noticed then that arm that I thought had snapped was indeed broken. He introduced himself as Aralieass and bandaged me quickly. I nodded, a doctor perhaps. He spoke about some other things, and handed me some turkey.Food! I hated eaten in what seemed like forever! Pilgrim’s Bounty after all, there was so much food. But my body needed it. Before I knew it, the meat was gone and fingers were licked.
My soulstone was missing. Easy enough to replace that. But my own being? Del and Junior told me it may take months but I could once again have children if I wished. Del would make sure of it. Full circle then perhaps? Everything I had done…
So tired, fatigued as if I were flying for months. I thanked everyone, my voice seeming still foreign to me. My body hummed inside, making sound now in an endless void. They all left then. I wouldn’t blame them. I wanted to leave then too. But I was weakened. Everyone but Junior.
I heard her sweet voice , the voice of Junior’s future wife, Aspicio. Her light carried so gracefully around her shoulders like a cloak. If she could see her aura she would know that hidden behind her shoulders were angelic wings. I saw these things now, after all, all of us that worked with souls could see them. Warmth. They were speaking but I was fading in and out. Healing then washed over me. Blessings as my eyes closed once again flowing through me. Welcome as Silvermoon wine.
Yet now the sun finds me, wrapped in silken blankets at my home in Fairbreeze. They must have carried me here after I had fallen asleep. My arm is healed but still my mind reels. Last night, was it all a dream? I moved a bit in the blankets. Soreness.
It had been real.
The demon is gone, the gift returned. For what price?