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((You fail your obscure reference test for the day! ..though I'm not sure I got the words right. Freedom is slavery?
<cough> What the others said. Very...foreboding. >:) ))
It was moving too fast.
She hadn't expected her contact to tell her that not only was Cyrus going faster in his work, but another one of the Ocheliad was going to craft a weapon similar to his. Nynra could not allow that to happen.
She had the plan all sorted out; her contact would lure the fallen knight away and poison him, whereupon she could retrieve the blade from him and set about to destroying its powers. Failing that... the axe itself would have to be shattered.
One way or another, this madness must end. And thus I shall end it. Light's will be done.
Nynra watched as her contact took off, going back to her prayers with a thought in the back of her mind.
Should I fail, he will find me again... I pray I am ready for that end.
She couldn't believe how well it worked.
Cyrus upon the ground, barely able to move, and the axe hovering before her.
She had her chants and her binding rituals already placed to hold it before her without touching it, but removing its power was going to be another matter entirely, if not impossible.
But she had to try. It was safe, momentarily, within the Peak.
I only pray its power does not corrupt others here...
Standing in the middle of the laboratory, he tapped a claw-like hand against the flask of reddish liquid he was making. It was a serum he planned to use upon his return to the southlands.
As he worked, his hearthstone suddenly began to hum. My lord, forgive me for contacting you via this medium, but I have recently acquired information that you may consider of interest.
He glanced around to ensure no one was in earshot - in fact, the lab seemed to be empty. One of the benefits of working up here was that most of the army had been redeployed back home to fight against the filthy Gilneans and their allies. Satisfied, he finally addressed his caller. "Speak."
My lord, my continued observations of Aerie Peak have resulted in a rather interesting set of events that are of --
He rolled his eyes. "Stop with the unnecessarily long words, you babbling moron, and just tell me why you're calling, hmm?"
A chilly silence on the other end, then, finally, It seems there's something of a war going on with that fellow from the Ocheliad - the one they call Cyrus.
That got his attention. From records in Genevra Stoneheardt's library at Northshire Abbey obtained by his minion, Cyrus had clashed with her and several others - including her pet worgen, Zherron - over some kind of weapon, one of unimaginable power. The records were vague, but it implied that it was...inherently corruptive. For weaklings, anyway, he mused...something about this one, though, made him wonder. "Has he struck?"
Apparently so, lord - there were a lot of injured making their way to Wildhammer Keep last night.
"Hmm....and what of Cyrus' weapon? Have they managed to grab it?"
Not sure. But there is some kind of residual shadow magic around Aerie Peak these days, like something has passed by there. I saw some gal pass through, one of Genevra's acolytes. Had kind of a weird posture and a strange smell about her...like she was --
"Dead, yes. Try reading the bulletins these days, she's practically crowing it from the rooftops." He sighed. Then an idea came to his mind, and he sat down in a nearby chair, fleshing it out. This chain of events could be...potentially useful. "I want you to make contact with Cyrus for me."
A stunned silence on the other end. With respect, lord - please tell me that was a joke.
"Do I sound like I'm joking, worm?" he hissed. "Make contact. Arrange a meeting. Somewhere here - where we can easily avoid the notice of...unwanted guests."
Another pause. It will be done, my lord.
"Good. And don't call on me like this again."
'East...' The dead of Raven Hill hadn't been able to lead him any farther than east. He cursed as he marched in that direction, heading towards Darkshire in an attempt to find clues as to which way Nynra, that infernal priestess, had gone with Cyrus' weapon. He had been tasked by Unben and his other superiors to help in its recovery.
As he approached the gates of Darkshire the Watchmen on duty gave him glares and watched as he passed. 'Oh what fun!' Tai thought happily as he cackled madly, scaring a child that was playing with a doll nearby, forcing another dark laugh from him. At least now he was enjoying himself a little, too bad he couldn't kill any of them, forcing his lower lip to pout slightly.
"Halt!" The words coming from behind Tai, he slowly turned, his head tilted slightly as he looked at the 4 guards that now stood in front of him in a line, their weapons drawn. A smile slowly spread its way across Tai's face, though the guards couldn't see it.
"Ah perfect, just the people I was looking for! I have a question and then I'm gone. A priestess came this way, she stole something that does not belong to her, which way did she go?" Tai's voice was cold, a slight chill rolling up the guards' spines as he spoke. The apparent leader of them stepped forward and spoke first,
"Why should we tell you? What business does a Death Knight have with a priestess?" Tai simply spread his hands and shook his head, stepping to the side and forcing the line of guards to move with him.
"See gentlemen, that isn't a question you can ask, this is a private matter and one that I intend to deal with quickly, so answer my question please." Tai's voice was cool, just an edge of insanity in it but enough to let the guards know that he wasn't afraid of crossing blades with them. They looked to each other quickly and then nodded at the leader who sighed and pointed out towards Deadwind Pass.
"Saw an odd creature flying that way, looked like something was on its back, scared the animals and we've had a few undead attacks since it passed. Now leave before you cause trouble." The guard's voice was firm, but a slight quake in it gave away his fear, Tai laughed and turned to leave, whistling for his bone gryphon and mounting it mid-stride.
"Get more courage Watchmen, there are scarier things out there than me!" Tai said with a dark laugh that echoed around the area as he flew into the air and off in the direction of Deadwind Pass, arriving there shortly after.
As he landed and dismounted he noticed the priestess was walking across one of the two bridges in the Pass, heading for the Swamp of Sorrows. "STOP!" Tai shouted, his words echoing eerily across the Pass.
The priestess turned and Tai saw the axe encased in holy wards, but he could hear the weapon. It was interfering with his hold on the unholy and so Tai focused now on Nynra, "You think you could escape? Surrender yourself and the weapon." Tai's words were cold, he was entirely focused on the task at hand. His orders had been clear, bring in the axe and the priestess for justice, relatively unharmed.
The priestess turned and glared at Tai, "I-I will n-not b-be s-stopped! I-I w-will destroy t-this w-weapon!" She said, her voice halting a little, Tai smiled and tilted his head,
"You seek to destroy that which cannot be destroyed by mortal means. You will fail." Tai drew his pole-arm, Misery, as he spoke getting into an attack stance.
"I c-cannot fail now! N-nor w-will I in t-the f-future!" The priestess said as she charged her holy staff with the Light, the weapon's tip glowing brightly. It was at this point that Tai struck, drawing around himself the icy winds of Northrend and sending them flying towards Nynra, the priestess summoning a barrier out of Light to deflect the winds and moving around to Tai's side swinging her staff at Tai's head and exploding the charge of Light in its tip.
Tai was forced back by the Light, the energies singing his armor but otherwise leaving him unscathed as he attempted to strangulate the priestess and pull her into him, which proved foolish. She launched Light directly into Tai's chest and he roared in defiance and pain as he lashed out at her with his spear, laying into her with a blood plague and forcing the priestess back. Tai roared again finally realizing he was on the offensive and he pressed the attack, launching balls of unholy energy at Nynra and charging at her, and firing more blasts of arctic wind at her.
She continued to back up and Tai felt more confident as he stepped forward again and launched another series of attacks. But his death coils seemed to fade away, the interference from the axe growing stronger and stronger to the point where he could not command his necrotic magics. As Tai realized this Nynra planted her staff into the ground and began to hover in the air, angelic wings sprouting from her back and a golden beam of light coming down from the heavens to surround her.
"FEEL THE WRATH OF THE LIGHT!" She shouted at the tops of her lungs and sent beams of Light arcing into Tai, the Death Knight caught unaware and unable to defend himself as he was crushed by the powers of the Light, falling to his knees as he tried to raise some defenses agaisnt the beams of Light, which were followed by 3 orbs of the Light.
As he was on his knees he made a last ditched effort to kill the priestess and filled his spear with as much unholy energy as he could and tossed it at her with a defiant roar. The weapon flew true and landed in her shoulder, forcing a scream from her lips as Tai fell backwards and sighed.
As Nynra left she placed a holy ward of binding and then flew off, leaving Tai in the dirt. "I... require... assistance... Deadwind... Nynra... escaped..." He muttered into his Tabard, hoping others of the Ocheliad would aid him.
He landed his flying machine outside the abandoned town hall in New Avalon to meet with Cyrus and was surprised to actually find him. He didn't think it would be that easy - and he decided to say so. "You know, for an individual whose demise is desired by so many, you are not exactly difficult to find."
The Ocheliad commander did not turn. "I'm not supposed to be hard to find. Those that wish my destruction simply don't have it in them to confront me, yet." He looked over his shoulder. "And... you are?"
He smiled humorlessly. "My name is not important. Suffice to say, I am the chosen emissary of a dark eminence from Lordaeron who has heard of your...recent difficulties with certain gnats. Gnats who have pestered him greatly as well. He has heard of you and the things you are capable of. He is intrigued...he has sent me to arrange for you to meet him in Northrend."
"Lordaeron..." Cyrus turns to get a better view of the gnome. "To what end? If he thinks my weapon being indisposed makes me a prime target to serve some egotistic Forsaken, he's sadly mistaken."
"I do not believe that is his goal, sir. His request was vague, but he believes he can be of assistance to you. Of course, he will ask for your aid in return, but he does not demand your service. Merely requests a face-to-face meeting."
Cyrus is silent for a moment, his gaze going between the warlock and his felguard minion. "When?" he asks finally.
"Whenever you are able to journey northward - my lord hopes it will be sooner rather than later, but he leaves it at your discretion."
"As it turns out, I'm departing for Northrend tonight to see about a means to hunt down Nynra. I could perhaps make a small detour."
The gnome smiled coldly. "My master is also interested in this priestess. It seems perhaps you have a mutual goal?" He knew his lord was listening via hearthstone - and this was the whole point of this meeting, after all, to discuss an alliance of sorts.
"We'll discuss that when Sekhesmet is within...reach." That surprised the gnome - as far as most people in public knew, Sekhesmet was dead. Cyrus seemed to have far better means at his disposal than given credit for.
The warlock's voice and face altered somewhat. "I see I was right about you. I will await your...convenience." Then his presence was gone, and the gnome shook his head. "Damn...I hate when he does that."
Cyrus seemed satisfied. "I'll be leaving now," he said. He gazed down at the gnome. "As will you."
The warlock nodded. "Then fair journeys to you, Commander."
Cyrus waited on a balcony high up the structure of Utgarde Keep, overlooking Daggercap Bay. Flying in from the northeast, a dark, strange creature with ethereal wings landed before him. Not wasting any words of greeting, Cyrus spoke - in Orcish, the language of the Horde. "This had better not be a waste of my time. The fall from here is pretty far."
Sekhesmet of Stratholme dispersed the shadows around him with a smile. "Priest, lad," he reminded him. "I have my ways of avoiding sudden stops. Ask Lahkin Stoneheardt, if you can get him to believe I'm still here." He chuckled - and noticed that Cyrus just stared silently at him. Not as chatty as Narnicka, this one, he thought. Ah, well. To business. "Now then, I understand you have something of a pest problem. One Nynra Lirann Lightheart, deluded fool, yes?"
"That much is pretty public." Cyrus gazed at him suspiciously. "And this concerns you, how?"
"She is wanted by the Forsaken for sedition - and by me in particular, for my...long-term goals involving her equally-deluded patroness." He noticed, with some pleasure, that Cyrus did not bat an eye, knowing full well who the priest meant. Cyrus had some kind of...personal connection to Genevra, he wasn't sure of what nature. And he didn't much care.
"I have a punishment in mind for Nynra once I catch up to her and reclaim what is mine." Briefly and bluntly, he stated what he had in mind.
Sekhesmet was silent for a moment, considering. He didn't think he could be surprised or impressed, but in one sitting, he was both. This man was vicious. "Perhaps more fitting than anything we can muster," he said after a moment. "Still...we appear to have the same goals here."
"How am I to know this isn't just a ploy to get your hands on that weapon she's running around with?" he asks levelly, his piercing gaze not leaving Sekhesmet's face.
The High Priest, for his part, returned it unflinchingly. "If it were, Cyrus Sagewind...what could you do to stop it?" he retorted, to see if this one - like so many others like him - was prone to bluster.
"Mmh..." Cyrus was thoughtful for a moment. "The strange thing is, I would not. Were you to get your hands on this weapon, the same fate that is at this moment befalling Nynra would befall you as well."
"Because it is attuned to you and only you, and vice versa, yes?"
"Well, there is that, but that isn't what I had in mind."
Sekhesmet chuckled. "Yet even for one of your strength and skill, you do not yet see. This is a weapon of unfathomable power. I have seen what you have done with it thus far, and it is only a taste of what it is capable of." He gauged Cyrus carefully. "Is it restraint that stays your hand...or something else?"
Cyrus' eyes took on a mischievious glint. "I forged that weapon from scratch...I know precisely what it is capable of, but why rush things? The victory I enjoy is the defeat my enemies see coming, months or years in advance."
The High Priest inclined his head. "I see...drawing out the kill, as it were." He's good, he had to admit. "I admire your style. Still, there is the matter of acquiring it from the fool Terrans and their priestess friend. It has been taken to the Aerie, has it not?" That was what his minion had said, something about a residiual shadow aura. But somehow, he knew the Ocheliad commander was able to tell him it wasn't there anymore.
Cyrus didn't disappoint him. "It passed through at one point, but Ocheliad forces caused her to flee their Keep." He was now studying Sekhesmet as a chess-master would his opponent. "Am I to understand your only stake here is to see her and her partners damaged?"
"Partly," Sekhesmet admitted. "But I see great benefits to a...truce, at least, between you and I in particular. We are very much alike - we serve our own agendas, while publicly we pay deference to men we call our lord. And as you can see, I have my own resources." His expression became somewhat apologetic. "Even if it is a damned annoying gnome - but he's loyal enough, and will do what I bid him. Or I'll turn his precious brain into gelatin and suck it out of his skull with a straw." He chuckled. "Don't think he'd like that. But perhaps my operative can provide you with the necessary information, and steps to take back what is yours. I see more benefits in its being wielded by one who knows what it can do, rather than taking it myself. You win, I win, they die, we're happy."
Cyrus was silent for a moment, glaring at the priest, wondering if he was lying - or possibly leaving something out. "I will call on you, should I find a way for you to assist us, which very well may be soon," he said at last. "But do know that if you pull any sort of stunt, I will not be like the terrans. You'll know why only I can wield such a weapon."
Sekhesmet nodded. "Agreed."
"Take this." Cyrus tossed a small pendant to the priest, who caught it quickly. It was a simple device, with the sigil of the Ocheliad - the unblinking eye - done in metal. "Just slide a thumb across it to get my attention. I'll meet you back here, should the signal get through."
Sekhesmet nodded. "I trust the same will apply in the reverse?" In response, Cyrus touched the Ocheliad sigil on one shoulderguard, and Sekhesmet's pendant began to glow. "Hmm. Very ingenious. I can see now why you and your Ocheliad are so feared. You are far better coordinated than the rabble." He laughed.
"We've just been at this a lot longer."
He didn't doubt that for a moment. "How many besides my operative know you have come to me?"
"Enough to ensure I hold the upper hand here."
Sekhesmet smiled. So you think, death knight. "Of course."
"Remember that we didn't make a name for ourselves by letting offenses go unanswered. This...assistance better be legitimate."
Sekhesmet's smile took a cold tinge. "I have no more love for Nynra and her allies than you do. I can serve your needs as well as my own in this matter. I would give you my word, but somehow, I doubt you would believe me."
"In return for your assistance, I will grant you a...what's the term...retributal moment with Nynra."
Sekhesmet considered the possibilities - both at what Cyrus was offering him, and what he had left unsaid. He had made his intent clear earlier. And not only would this affect her...but it would affect her allies too. "Most kind," he replied.
Cyrus turned away and mounted a great dragon. "I'll keep in contact. Once I no longer need you, you'll know."
He inclined his head in agreement. "Then may your enemies run with fear, dark one."
"They never make it far." Without another word, Cyrus lifted off and flew away. Once the death knight was gone, Sekhesmet laughed to himself as he mounted his own steed. You have the upper hand now, my friend...but you will find I am not the kind of weakling you're used to subjugating.
Things were moving smoothly, too smoothly.
She was hiding within the Steppes when they found her; two unforseen allies, two aids to her task.
The first was a creature of stone and black wings, a dark creature that simply called itself The Black. Qiraji in nature, she noticed, and something not to be taken lightly. Landing near her, she already had her spells ready to slice at the creature, but it said the oddest thing...
"You seek to destroy a weapon that disrupts the balance of life. I would aid you in that."
Though cautious, she would not turn away valuable aid. After speaking for a few moments with the creature, a second figure unveiled itself; nameless, but a false servant of the Ocheliad, it seemed. She offered her aid, and the aid of others as well. All Nynra needed was that last reagent.
She urged her charge forward, heading towards sands more ancient than the Elves themselves. She was close; so close. She had to succeed.
And the axe, constantly whispering... she had to succeed. Soon.
"The wielder draws near..." The axe whispered to Nynra only moments before the groups of three at the Qiraji altar became four.
Cyrus stepped from the shadows of the high eastern wall, his hooves holding a thin ice to them. As the moonlight revealed his face, Nynra swung around, sensing his presence. The winged beast at her side tilted its head, trying to discern whether or not Cyrus was a threat without his weapon within reach. What caught Cyrus' attention first was not Nynra, the beast or the axe itself, but what company they kept.
On the side railing of the stairs to the altar was an Ocheliad rogue, Raidira.
Is it becoming customary for Ocheliad to turn on each other? A purge of ranks is becoming necessary, Cyrus thought to himself before looking to where the axe floats, atop the altar.
Nynra's frustration was immediately vocal as she stammered loudly, "N-no! Not yet!" She shouted, pointing at the large Draenei. "S-stop h-him from interrupting t-the r-ritual!" The undead priestess ordered Raidira, who moved in quickly to flank Cyrus and try and get a shiv in between his armor plates. As she'd made it in melee range, a plated hand crashed into her jaw, sending her stumbling away. Recovering rather quickly, she vanished from sight.
"Y-you are o-outnumbered, S-sagewind!" Nynra stammers, seemingly trying to pull him into dialogue to buy more time or distract him from the black beast still separating them.
"You mistake me from someone who'd run!" He shouts in anger at the priestess' voice.
The Black inhaled deeply before bellowing out a thick cone of chemical in Cyrus' direction. Shielding his eyes with his forearm, Cyrus hadn't been sure of the intention until the fumes drifted up to his eyes. Whatever this was, it was rather potent and Cyrus' vision was suffering for it. The large creature lunged forward, hoping to get the distracted Draenei across the neck with his sharp wing as he passed.
Seeing the creature move, Cyrus ducked fast enough to avoid decapitation, even managing to sling some of that vile chemical straight into the creature's face. The grunt and immediate growl of the beast behind him signaled that he was more worried about getting the spew off his face before try another attack.
All this time, Nynra had been trying to complete the damaging ritual on the weapon. As she continued her work, Cyrus reached out a hand for it. His grip of death lashed out to seize it, and the fight for his weapon came to a head. The weapon wavered in its position, drifting a little closer to Cyrus, as Nynra fought for it as well with her will and Light. After Nynra had a firm hold with her grip of Life, neither seemed to be making much progress in securing the axe, until Raidira reappeared and tried to intervene.
The moment Raidira made physical contact with the axe she grabbed, Cyrus had gained the upper hand. She only had a hold of it for a moment before she felt and heard the screams of every soul it had stolen away echo like deafening thunder in her mind. The girl instantly recoiled, dropping the weapon.
As it touched the ground, it whipped across the floor and into Cyrus' grasp as he knelt.
(( cont'd ))
(( cont'd from above ))
The ground around Cyrus chilled by several degrees as the axe was reunited with its master and he had a weapon, once more.
Finally clearing the toxic fumes from his fast, the Black rushed at Cyrus' backside to keep him from keeping the upper hand, but was met with Cyrus' weapon. The broad side of the blade connected hard with the creature's faceplate, sending it sprawling across the ground. When it finally rolled to a stop, it went rigid, as if something was wrong.
It wasn't a fight-ending hit. The fel... Cyrus wondered for a moment before the obsidium beast shattered like glass, revealing a man laying face down. As the clearly dazed and disoriented man stood, Cyrus realized it was Lyrax, a fellow Ocheliad agent. Two things were clear a that moment. One, Lyrax had a separate entity bidding for control of him somehow, and two, this was no longer a three-on-one. Lyrax hadn't been doing that of his own volition.
"Lyrax, restrain Raidira," Cyrus commanded, not seeming to care Lyrax was still getting his bearing.
Taking only a couple moments to orient himself with his current situation, he nodded. "Yes, Commander." Approaching the still-dazed Raidira from the axe's rush of influence, he soon stood behind her with a garrote around her neck. He forced her to a knee, keeping a leveraged position behind her as Cyrus turned to deal with Nynra.
The undead priestess was fuming. She'd been so close to destroying Cyrus' axe for good, but now he had it back in his grasp. Not only that, but already had an intended use for it. As fast as she could, Nynra rose her staff to hold off the inevitable attack.
Sprinting toward her, Cyrus slammed his weapon downward, pinning the staff down to her chest and causing her legs to give out from under her. Laying across the staircase, shadows pooled under her, allowing her to sink down into them. Cyrus knelt by her, glaring at her in an anger he'd been so known for.
"You will suffer in a way I could never put in word, Priestess..." He taunted.
"I-i have kn-known more p-powerful m-men than y-you, S-sagewind. Y-you wil f-fail..."
"Fail? Priestess... I have already succeeded," He responded before the shadows dragged her down and out of sight.
Wheels within wheels...
The war has begun...the fools will destroy one another...
The weapon is powerful, but only as powerful as its wielder...and the wielder has proven he is defeatable...
The priest sat in meditation in the woods of the Great Dragonblight, his mind reaching inward. He was alone, or so it seemed...he had his own allies in the shadows.
The weapon is unique. Corruptive. Forged of the purest saronite. Saronite is the product of the Old Ones. The Old Ones corrupt all. The Dragon Soul corrupted the Worldbreaker. The weapon will corrupt the death knight.
The priestess will be destroyed, as will her friends...the paladins fight amongst one another...distrust and discord are rampant...
The blade will destroy its wielder. And in the process, it will also destroy the Ocheliad, the Conclave, the Terrans, even the Modas. It will destroy Varian, destroy Garrosh...
Sekhesmet's eyes opened, burning with shadowfire.
It will destroy Azeroth. Nothing will remain. Nothing but shadows and dust.
As he came to his feet, the High Priest walked out across the frozen wastes, the icy plains strewn with the corpses of fallen Twilight cultists and dragons, left as they had died and frozen solid. In order to prevent detection, he moved regularly throughout Northrend, at not just the Forsaken outposts, but - with a little alchemical illusion - at the regular Horde ones as well...and even at the neutral places. He looked up at the ruined temple - even the edifices of the Titans were not invulnerable. Death and destruction knew no borders.
Shadows...and dust. The true creatures of shadow will remain, while the weak succumb to the destruction. The "victory" of Cyrus must be assured - so that the world will be reborn in death. What that "victory" requires is an instrument...a master of death and shadows.
Sekhesmet smiled to himself as he approached the broken corpse of a twilight dragon, left half-buried in the ice and snow. He placed a hand on it, and nodded in satisfaction; the skeleton was intact. Perfect. He would contact his agents in Undercity and have them come at once.
And I will be that instrument.
Edited by Sekhesmet on 8/19/2012 1:52 AM PDT
That's what first struck Nynra about her bindings and predicament; an overwhelming, overflowing sense of darkness and shadow. No ray of light to pierce through, no song or hymn to bolster her, no prayer or plea to strengthen her.
And yet she refused to bow to it.
I have faced worse. I have surpassed worse. I have denied worse.
Despite her conviction and determination, she did have one thing to fear... Lady Stoneheardt had said she would do whatever she could to aid Nynra.
And the fallen priestess refused. She refused to allow anyone to be harmed for her own work, what could very well be their demise should they attempt to help her.
Nynra would prevail. She would succeed. If not...
Light protect me and forgive me for what may occur...
She bowed her head in her bindings, waiting, a soft prayer in her thoughts and an unshakable will following close behind.
Another scream, another waver, another desperate prayer.
And she was running out.
She didn't know how long it had been... hours? Days? Perhaps years? Time didn't matter much when your very thoughts were being warped around, twisted and shifted, forced and shattered. She didn't know how long she held up. It didn't matter; she simply had to hold. She had to hang on for...
For what? For who? Who was she holding on for...? Was she allowed to remember?
No, I cannot think like that... I cannot let him win...
And another scream to follow, another vulnerability. Those same wards she had used once before to defend herself from this very terror, now shattering under the constant assault of the whispers that pervaded the axe. The tauntings and shouting that filled the air.
Filled the room.
Filled her thoughts.
No, not her thoughts. They weren't allowed to be her thoughts, but rather his, and only his. His thoughts were hers, his words were her obediance...
Light protect me, I cannot fall...
Another scream, another shattering ward, another breaking thought. There was barely anything left. And yet she held.
And yet, she could not hold on any longer...
Who is your master?
A simple request. She tried to speak.
"I-I serve... t-the... t-the Light..."
No, that wasn't the right answer. It felt... wrong. Misplaced. Something she wasn't allowed to say. Not under his command. Not under his will.
His will, or hers?
Who is your master?
She paused, unable to continue, words fighting with one another to be spoken. She didn't know what to say or how to say it. She couldn't say it. Never would be able to. Could she? What was she so afraid to admit?
Who. Is your. Master?
"I... I s-serve..."
The words were broken, tattered, difficult to understand, but felt... correct.
"... S-Sa... S-Sagewind..."
"I s-serve... s-serve S-Sagewind..."
Once more. Who do you serve?
There was no hesitation in these final words; there wasn't allowed to be. There was only the dim yellow eyes that stared up in total obediance, the barest hint of resistance hidden by the complete control of the soul-devouring blade and its master.
"I s-serve Master Sagewind..."
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