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Dayn sat on his bedroll on the upper level of one of the ruined buildings of the abandoned village in Nagrand that he called home while he trained in arms under Master Ryutan, sore and aching. Ryutan had not been pleased with Dayn's trip to Darkshire.
"You're supposed to be training, not running off to Stormwind when you get the sniffles from being homesick, boy" Ryutan had scolded him when he returned in the wee hours of the morning. After meeting Master Niklos, Dayn had not retired to a comfortable inn room, but had ridden Icefloe, his snow-white griffon, straight to the Black Gate, and then back to the ruined village where Ryutan dwelt.
Ryutan had scolded Dayn, and then had Dayn suit up to fight, exhausted and sore from his traveling. "Now is the perfect time, boy. Your enemies are more likely to attack when you are tired, not at your convenience." Dayn understood the basic truth of that, but felt that Ryutan merely wished to exercise his own frustration on Dayn for Dayn's insisting on needing to meet with Master Niklos.
Jon Greyhawk had set up a meeting with Dayn and a servant of Darkness, a minion of Surreal. The minion had warned Dayn of Surreal's true nature; she was not a priestess of the Light as Dayn had thought, but rather a daughter of Darkness, a manipulator and base deceiver. Dayn was unsure of the details, but the minion had claimed that Dayn was in danger from a succubus, commanded by Surreal to capture or kill him.
Worse, the minion had maintained that the succubus would do so in the form of Annise, Master Niklos' beloved. Dayn had rushed to meet with Master Niklos, who had given Dayn a white crystal which would force the succubus to adopt her true form when confronted. Master Niklos had shown no surprise that Surreal was a thrice-damned female of the Fel, and a reluctance to allow Dayn to confront the demon, and had shown no interest in the tidings that Surreal was planning on enslaving a pair of twins, Lena and Lana by name, to her will, even when the two ladies in question had entered the Scarlet Raven and gone upstairs. Dayn had heard one call the other by name; he knew those women were in deadly danger, but Master Niklos merely offered Dayn a mug of hot chocolate!
Perhaps Dayn's failure to clear his white orb, the orb clouded with Darkness until it was the darkest ebony, the white orb formed from the spirit of a slain kaldorei, now tormented by the Darkness, inspired Master Niklos' doubt, and his reluctance to allow Dayn to face the succubus. Dayn himself felt shame at his continuing failure to help the spirit contained in the orb; why should anyone have faith in Dayn's abilities if he failed again and again.
Niklos had smiled when he had taunted Dayn, telling him that the spirit had belonged to a kaldorei who had been slain by Surreal herself. Anger burned the fuel of Dayn's shame and despair, blazing up like a wildfire. Dayn was angry with himself, for being weak. Angry at his master's dismissal of Dayn's warnings, and his refusal to act. Angry at the Light and the Naaru, who allowed creatures such as Surreal to exist. Anger at Surreal, whose depredations caused suffering and corruption wherever she went; rumors abounded that she had taken Commander Charam to her bed, to forestall his interference with her schemes.
The anger had given him the energy to come back and not sleep in Darkshire, preferably after a long bath. He knew the costs of annoying his arms trainer, and knew that the next day would be hard enough without Ryutan thinking that Dayn had malingered in luxury.
Ryutan and Dayn had sparred. Ryutan had broken several of Dayn's ribs before releasing Dayn to his quarters. Dayn had limped off, his left knee swollen, his breathing labored by the cracked ribs. Echoe was due for a visit soon; Dayn would suffer until she arrived. He did not want to spend his own abilities on healing himself as he would need all the focus and power he could muster for his attempt to clear the orb.
Dayn sat on his bedroll, his injured leg stretched out in front of him, the pain of his injuries a distraction less and less as he descended further and further into a meditative trance. His hands cupped the black orb above and below. The fire of his anger sustained him, and drove him. Slowly he began once more to gather the Light, and infuse it into the orb. He could feel the Darkness resisting, and wondered if this was how a chick felt trying to escape from an egg. He pushed, feeling the Darkness retreat before him, struggling for each miniscule sign of progress. His anger merged with the pain, and he felt the torment of his failure, his frustration with his Master, his own doubts vanishing in the resulting conflagration. He could feel the now-familiar light-headedness that preceded Dayn's lapsing from consciousness; he felt that drowning sensation that always meant he was about to fail again, and that the Darkness would come crashing back like a wave, sending Dayn into a nightmarish sleep.
Without warning, the Darkness vanished, and the black aura of the orb popped like a child's soap bubble. Without the resistance of the Darkness to fight against, Dayn fell from the precipice upon which he had teetered, into a dreamless sleep.
But in the first time in weeks, he slept with a smile upon his face.
((All this and more at the SWC RP Community Forum - http://steamwheedlecartel.flameandshadow.net/index.php?action=forum ))
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