|Re: The Changeling (Updated -- 9/2/2008 )|
Subject: Re: The Changeling (Updated -- 9/2/2008 )
by CherryWine on 2009/6/17 17:16:08
@all: Oh my goodness... I'm sorry to have totally disappeared. I hope that some of you out there might still remember my story and be interested in it. I'm afraid I got a bit stuck and then again, I've been working on some different writing projects. But, well, I really do like this story, and playing Av3 has got me back in the whole Aveyond mindset.
Anyway, this chapter picks Dameon's thread up again. If for some strange reason you don't remember what Dameon's been up to, you can look back to Chapter 31. (Dameon's been quiet for a while, I guess).
@Mu11berry: I am sure that I wouldn't want to see it!
@kaz: Thanks! He's quite a character, and a lot of fun to write.
Dameon awakes to darkness. Blacker than night, he can see nothing at all, not even the faintest glimmer to tell him that his eyes are open. But he can hear. A distant keening rides the air, it’s shrill call piercing his skull like a dagger.
He raises his hand to rub his aching temple, but before his hand reaches skin he is surprised by the feel of cold metal bumping painfully against his head, followed a moment later by the loud clatter of metal against stone as his fingers fly open dropping a burden he had not realized he carried.
Where am I?
Cautiously he rolls to his knees, rubbing his temples as he tries to piece together the fractured impressions that race through his brain. He is mildly surprised, at first, to find that the ache in his head is fading before he remembers that he is adept at such healing magic.
Talia... Rhen... Eithera... Darius!
The names float through his mind and he feels icy tendrils of fear clenching around his heart. Rhen. There had been something terribly important about Rhen. Something to do with Eithera. Something he had forgotten and only just remembered. His mother. The Dreamer. He had been in Dream. He had had something important to do, something for his father. His father. Who wasn’t dead, after all. He could finally make his father proud of him, make his father love him.
What was I supposed to do?
And then, the pieces drop into place. Darius had sent him to destroy The Dreamer while Eithera went to destroy Rhen. And like some pathetic puppy dog, he had been eager to to do their bidding even while they destroyed any chance he had ever had for happiness in this life.
He raises his head and mutters a spell. A soft light glows from between his fingers and he sees the Nightmare dagger glittering sullenly on the stone floor of the store room.
He had been in this very spot when Talia appeared. He remembers threatening her with the dagger, threatening the Dreamer in her own realm. “Stop, Mother!” he had said. I would not say a word if I were you. I cannot allow you to cast a spell just now.” He had raised the Nightmare Dagger to her throat.
And then, reality, or Dream, had shattered around him.
He cannot remember what happened next, a kaliedescope of images whirls through his mind. The Dreamer laughing at him. The Dreamer howling in agony as the Dagger nicks her throat. The very air of the Dream turning against him, holding him as still as if he were encased in stone. The Dreamer falling to her knees, pleading for her life while he towers over her, an inferno of rage. Laughter. Tears. Screams. Blood. Sorrow. Defeat. Despair.
He picks up the Nightmare Dagger with distaste and hastily sheathes it before getting slowly to his feet. Darius will be pleased, no doubt. He wonders why the thought does not bring him more pleasure. He must make his way quickly to Stronghold Temple, but first he will have to return to Darius.
Darius’ cavern is a whirlwind of activity when Dameon emerges from the portal. A dozen demons surround his father, each calling more urgently than the last for a moment of their leader’s attention. Despite the commotion, Darius spots Dameon right away.
“Ah, my son,” he says cheerfully, “You have done a great deed, today. A great deed. Demons will be singing your praises for a thousand years and more. The Dreamer was right to fear your power. Truly you have lived up to your potential today.”
Dameon forces himself to smile and wave heartily, but Darius’ attention has already returned to the demons clamouring around him. Dameon sighs and begins to fight his way through the throng.
“Father,” calls Dameon when he finally makes it to the front of the ring. “Father, I must speak with you.”
“Dameon? Why are you here?” says Darius, evidently surprised to see Dameon in the midst of his war council. “Surely you must be tired. A hero should rest after his exertions.”
“No, father, I am not tired. In fact,” Dameon is thinking rapidly now, trying to suppress the fear gnawing at his belly, while he works up a suitable reason for his next request. “I hoped to press you for a small favor.”
“A favor?” asks Darius with a hint of irritation. “Can it not wait a few minutes? Just until things have settled down a bit, and we can talk in leisure.”
“Actually, father, I was hoping to rejoin Eithera. I believe that she has returned to her temple, and we have some ah… unfinished business there,” he ends somewhat lamely, afraid to mention Rhen, even obliquely, lest he betray himself.
His father, gratefully, is much too pre-occupied to notice Dameon’s discomfort. He winks knowingly. “A little private celebration? Yes, certainly a hero should celebrate. You would like the services of a Wyvern to get you there quickly, I take it.”
Dameon nods mutely, and his father claps him on the shoulder. He gestures prefunctorily to a demon standing outside of the main throng. “Go on, then,” says Darius. “Fylter, there will take care of you.”
And so it is that within only a span of minutes he is once again astride a wyvern, speeding toward Stronghold Temple with Death written in his heart.