Saving Grace - By Cierra

Fan fiction from the Darkness Falls universe.
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Daleth
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Saving Grace - By Cierra

Post by Daleth » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:14 pm

Saving Grace
By Cierra

Part 1:

A mournful sigh escaped her lips as the lone figure knelt before the altar perched high upon the cliff. Reverently placing the bouquet of flowers on the marble stone, she looked up to find that the stars have finally decided to grace her with their presence.

"Oh, but to be among the stars!" she whispered softly, the words forever lost in the night as if never spoken. Glancing back at the altar, she traced the symbol of Sinisbe, the goddess of the Shadows, awaiting the peace that will soon wash over her.

Yet, it did not come.

"Something else must weigh heavily in your mind, Mistress," said a low voice from the shadows.

A frown found its way to her face, irritated by the intrusion.

"Why are you here? Do you not know that it's my hour of solitude?" Yet, before the question escaped her lips, she already knew.

"My pardon, Mistress. I was sent to remind you of the meeting about to take place. The followers of Ra'kur have gotten stronger and we must prepare for their arrival."

She gave an imperceptible nod and the next moment, she knew she was alone again.

Hesitantly, she said a quick prayer to her goddess. But deep in her heart, she wondered, how did it come to this?

Part 2:

The wind howled angrily as a shadow made its way behind the great oaks that surrounded Grey Mountains. Climbing up the highest tree, she scanned the horizon not knowing wether it was the dark clouds that forever hovered Tamia or the dark Rigan Sea that moved beyond. Sensing that all was well, she made sure her blade was in place and started making her way back down.

Light as a feather, she made her way silently to the Town of Tamia lost in her thoughts. As she neared the great Eastern Gates, a loud sound broke the peace of the night.

"Invaders!" shouted a young warrior while others began hustling towards the bank, hurriedly storing away their important possessions.

Blending into the shadows, she watched as the fighters readied themselves for another battle. Swords were sharpened and armors repaired. She could feel the excitement and fear in the air as the Army of Arnak prepare for another bloodshed. Frowning slightly, she wondered why
she was not out there joining ranks with them.

"Mistress!" she heard a low voice hiss from behind her.
"We are ready to go. What are your orders?" he prodded.
"I don't know," she heard herself say.
"Mistress! The enemies are upon us. They have taken down the walls and are fast approching. What are your orders? Tell us what to do!" he exclaimed nervously.

The frustration in his voice shook her out of her reverie but before she could speak, Deo, the Master Revenant came out of the shadows.

"I will be giving out the orders at this time. Go join the others," he silently commanded.

A moment later and they were alone. Sensing that he was looking at her with those probing eyes, she turned around and waited.

"What is amiss?" he asked. His dark eyes too knowing, too wise. A slight mocking smile crossed her face.

"Why ask a question to which you already know the answer to?" she returned.

Letting out a deep sigh, the great Lord Revenant shook his head as if defeated.

"We haven't the time for this right now. When this battle is over, you will explain," he commanded in a slight whisper.

Hearing the beating of the drums, she acquiesced then faded into the night.

Part 3:

The battle with the Army of Ra'kur lasted three long days and three long nights. Looking about the ruins of the town, she felt weakened by the spasm that shook her body violently.

She knelt by a body so bloodied and bruised, she could not recognize who it was. Seeing the mark of Yasraena on the man's hand, she knew that the vampire had but little time left. Signaling behind her, two young warriors heaved the body between them and quickly ran towards a male necromancer named Tydus who was tending to the wounded surrounding him.

"Mistress!" she heard someone call out behind her. She turned around to see a young imp run towards her, clutching something in his hand.

Handing her the scroll that he carried, he took a moment to catch his breath. Before he could speak, she held up her hand and began to unroll the parchment.

"There's no need. I already know who sent this." Bowing deeply, the young imp took off to the direction from whence he came.

She glanced at the content of the scroll, scanning its words quickly. Squinting her eyes against the quickly rising sun, she slowly made her way through the great Western Gates. Heading north towards the vampire grounds, a shiver ran up her spine as the cold dug into her very bones. Wrapping
her cloak tightly about her, she headed for the tower. Before entering, she looked up to admire the statue of the beautiful Ladymoon. Before memories overwhelmed her, she stepped inside the tower that was cold as ice.

She headed for the great doors to her right and entered without knocking. Looking about the room, she sat on a stone bench close to the fire and began to warm her hands.

"You're late," said a deep voice, smooth as silk. She shrugged her shoulders as the warmth of the fire began to ease the tension in her body.

"I received your message but a few minutes ago," she replied carelessly.

"And where were you when you received it? Probably hidden somewhere and daydreaming," he hissed.
She laughed. The sound echoing throughout the dark, cold room.

"Actually, I was out surveying the damage done to us. You may call me flighty if you want, but I never forget my duties."

"Don't be so defensive," he mocked as the man finally stepped out of the shadows.

Looking at him, she felt a tug in her very core. She has seen him so many times yet every time seem to be the first. She quickly turned away before he could see the look of awe that she knew was written all over her face.

Without a word, he stood in front of her, his dark eyes peering into hers. She felt as if he was digging into her very mind, her very soul, searching for answers. Try as she might, she could not break free from the magic that he weaved around her.

The sound of footsteps broke the spell and she turned around just as the great doors opened.

"Saved," she whispered softly.

Part 4:

The storm hit the realm of Helk as she stepped off the Scourge of Arnak. Lightning struck from every direction, as a huddled form made its way to shelter. Pulling back the hood from her head, the Imp Lady grabbed her long braid, making sure the silken rope was tightly tied.

Checking her provisions quickly, she made sure nothing was left behind. She had no time to waste for she had been looking forward to this retreat in what seemed liked ages ago.

Staring up into the dark clouds, she whispered a quick prayer and began her journey to the northwest. Reaching the city of Kaid, she blended into the shadows, not wanting to run into anyone that would cause delay to her trip. Relieved that her journey had been uneventful, she headed up north. The rain pelting down on her back did not slow her down, so determined was she to reach her destination before nightfall.

As dusk finally fell, she stopped in her tracks as she admired the awesome view of the Fury Mountains. Grinning to herself, she felt jubilated and unafraid of the dangerous path ahead of her. She found the cave without any trouble. The cold emerging from its walls began to penetrate through her clothes but she did not stop. Darkness enveloped her as soon as she stepped inside its icy walls yet it didnt slow her down. Without much thought, her feet directed her through the path, knowing its way by instinct until she found herself outside a crevice.

Taking out the black rose she had carefully wrapped in a silk cloth, she stepped into the crevice. Tears filled her eys as she looked at the great statue that seemed so lifelike, so real. Falling to her knees, she dropped the rose on the cold ice floor and lovingly caressed the statue.

Did it feel warm or was it just her imagination?

"My beloved, why did you desert me?" she whispered, willing the statue to answer her cry.

Wrapping her cloak tightly about her, she rested her head on its feet and gave in to the dreams.

Part 5:

Stepping out of the freezing cave, she raised a hand to shield her eyes from the blazing sun. The storm left the mountain hours ago and from the distance, she can see that it has now dropped its fury on the town below. Hesitantly, she stepped out of the cave and turned to see it's secret crevice disappear before her eyes.

"I'll be back soon to see you again," she promised as she turned back around and begin the long journey down the mountain.

As dusk approached, she found her way back to the City of Kaid. Then the storm hit. In an instant, she was drenched from head to toe. Running for shelter, she headed for the light that stood out against the now dark and forboding city. Without a sound she entered the tavern and crept slowly to the farthest corner of the room where the light did not reach.

"Blasted storm!" she heard someone hiss furiously.

Without moving, her lavander eyes scanned the room, landing immediately on the huge, bulky form that sat a few tables in front of her. She noticed, at once, the ill concealed sword that was peeping out of the warrior's thick fur cloak. She heard a laugh and her attention moved to his companion. Where the first man was big and fierce, this one was lean and had a quietness about him. A Tamian, she guessed. His shrewd eyes seemed to see through anything and she wondered if he knew she was there.

"Phylate, my brother, patience is a virtue. You must remember that always," he said not unkindly to the warrior.

The second man grumbled in response and signaled to the barkeeper who brought in two more mugs of ale.

Chuckling softly, he shook his head and pushed the mug towards the warrior.

"You know I cannot muddle my senses with such spirits," he said.

"But Spire, tonight is a night of celebration! Word of the army of Arnak's defeat has reached all the lands!" the warrior nearly shouted.

"Quiet down," Spire whispered.
"True, they were defeated, but we all know they will rise again," he predicted.

"Not if we head over there and finish what the followers of Ra'Kur started!" the warrior said vehemently.

Shaking his head, the great priest of Vesta closed his eyes. Light seems to emanate from his very body, so bright was his presence that the shadow hidden in the far corner of the room had to turn away. She headed towards the tavern door quietly, ready to face the storm rather than bear the light that seemed be getting brighter and stronger.

"You are aware that we are not entirely alone?" she heard the priest say softly. A hint of a smile on his lips.

Part 6:

She sensed the movement behind her before she heard the chair slide back and a sword was drawn. Without turning back she quickly slipped out of the tavern and headed for the dark alley to her right. Quick footsteps and the clanging of metals could be heard from behind but she did not slow down to look.

One moment she was concealed in the shadows, and in the next, she heard a loud thud, like a body falling to the ground. Quickly unsheathing her blade from her boot, she crouched, ready to attack whoever was headed her way.

"Come out, Imp Mistress," said a laughing voice. "I do not wish to harm you," he continued.

"Nor I, you," she replied, still concealed in the shadows.

"Then why are you still hidden, gripping that blade in your hand so tightly?" he questioned.

Sighing, she wondered how she can win against this priest who was aware of her every move.

"I fear I have no reason to trust anyone, especially an enemy," she replied tonelessly.

"I admire your honesty," he uttered softly.

"An honest imp, isn't that a contradiction?" Chuckling, he sat down on a crate facing the shadows where she was hidden. Realizing that he meant just to talk to her, she leaned against the wall yet never relaxing her hold on her blade.

"I sense a war in you," he offered as a start. Shrugging her shoulders, she did not speak. Patiently, he peered into the shadows yet could not even see a movement from her.

"Darkness isn't the only way, you know? The way of light may fill that void in you," he said kindly.

Frowning in the dark, she began to feel irritated by this Tamian's insinuation and meddling.

"The Dark Path has always been my way...my life. You cannot speak of something you do not know about," she hissed scornfully.

Before the great priest could say more, she moved. So quick was she that she had her blade against his throat, startling a gasp from him.

"Enough of this talk. I could kill you now but I will not, for my only wish is to be away from here. Do not ever try to speak to me in such a manner again," she whispered softly, almost wistfully.

With a blink of an eye, she was gone and the great priest was alone. Footsteps to his right announced his companion's arrival.

"Blasted guard gave me some trouble," he muttered.
"Did you find our spy?" he asked, glancing about, peering into the darken alley.

"Nay," the priest murmurred.
"I found a friend," he said with a smile as he held the silken rope in his hand.

Part 7:

She made a run for it as they made the last call for the boat. Walking up to the plank she cursed the priest for causing her delay. As she stood at the deck of the ship watching the coast of Kaid disappear before her eyes, her thoughts returned to the conversation that continued to plague her. Try as she might, she cannot forget the priest's words and she wondered why she did not kill him when she had the chance.

"You never leave your hair unbound, something must be wrong," teased a cold voice behind her.

Ignoring the surge of joy that washed over her, she grabbed the end of her braid only to realize her hair had come loose. Frowning slightly, she tried to trace back into time in hopes of remembering how she lost the silk rope that kept her hair in place.

"The priest has it, you know" he murmured behind her. Shrugging her shoulders, she felt him touch the ends of her hair as he curled it around a fingertip.

"I should have killed him when you didn't," he continued, as he wondered at her indifference.

"He meant no harm, there was no point in killing him," she whispered, more so to herself than to her companion.

"He meant no harm physically, you mean. Obviously, he did something to your mind," he retorted.

She shrugged helplessly, not caring to deny his words. Grabbing her shoulders, he turned her around to face him not too gently.

"Look at me," he commanded.

"Nay," she said stubbornly, focusing on the hollow of his smooth white neck instead.

"What has happened to you? What has caused you to be such a coward?" he hissed furiously.

Her eyes locked with his and he smiled. Looking into her eyes, he watched as the slowly burning fire begin to smolder. Belatedly realizing she was baited, she gave him a dark look.

"That's what I remember. I see that there are still some tricks left to get a reaction from you," he said softly.

"Why do you torment me so?" she asked him, defeated. As the question escaped her lips, she wondered about the coldness that never seems to leave his eyes even with that boyish smile on his face.

Slowly untangling her hair from his hand, his eyes became shuttered again as he straightened away from her. Before she could ask what was wrong, a soft sound behind him reached her.

"Lord Phlayer, a message from the Avatar of Niord arrived in Tamia just a moment ago," said a young vampire reverently.

As the man bowed respectfully, the great Lord vampire acknowledged his words with a curt nod. Looking up at him, she knew he was lost to her once again.

Part 8:

She took the seat next to the window, though she wished she had warmed her hands first. Slightly concealed in the shadows, she watched as each leader of Arnak's army walked into the room, some calling out a greeting while others settling comfortably on the high-back chairs which formed into a semi-circle around the fire. Studying this group, she felt a sense of indifference. She wondered if the reason for that was that they no longer were the same people she had fought with so proudly ages ago.

The fire danced as a gust of wind swirled into the room, shaking her out of her reverie. Looking up, she noticed that Deo, Lord of the Revenants had entered the room and was quietly staring into the shadows where she sat hidden while Wurmknight, the Zombie leader whispered to him.

"Everyone is here except for the Imp Mistress. Did she not get the message regarding the meeting?" asked Zelfii, Master of the Fallen Sect.

"She's here," replied the Lord vampire, emerging from the shadows behind the group with a scroll in his hand.

"So what's this message from the Niordians?" Metis, the Blood Coven leader asked impatiently, his dark eyes focused on the scroll with contempt.

Everyone held their breath in anticipation as the Lord Vampire walked towards the center of the group. With all eyes on him, she could not help the feeling of admiration she always felt when near him. The power emanating from him was so raw and yet so controlled that she often wondered what would happen if it was unleashed. Scolding herself for her wandering thoughts, she brought her attention back to the issue at hand.

"The message states that we set a date to meet with them. They wish to unite with us to fight the army of Ra'kur," he stated plainly.

"That is utter garbage!" Infernodragonii, the Demon Elder, hissed vehemently.

"Not to mention totally unacceptable," Twinskull, the Skeleton Lord added.

"I think it's a trap," voiced Deo.

"Did they give you a time limit on your decision?" she finally spoke quietly from the shadows.

Shaking his head, Phlayer tossed the scroll close to the fire. Looking about the room he studied each and every leader, delving into their thoughts.

"We do need help, I'll admit," offered Wurmknight.
"The army or Ra'kur is a force to reckon with once more after all those years they stayed quiet," he added.

"Yes but at what cost?" asked Zelfii, uncertainty written all over his face.

"I will not merge with those Niordians just to defeat another enemy!" Twinskull nearly shouted.

"What think you, Lord Avatar?" asked Deo, who noticed the stillness of the vampire lord.

"We must stop thinking about our pride for one moment and think about how this will benefit our land. The army of Ra'kur has taken everything and killed most of our people. Do you see any other way?" he softly asked.

"But it must be a trick! We all know that they despise us more than they despise each other!" Metis proclaimed with disgust. Everyone nodded with their agreement.

"Then I suggest we send someone who can confirm this before any action is taken," Phlayer suggested as he sensed a slight movement from where she sat hidden.

Closing her eyes, she leaned her head back as she thought about what she was about to do. Taking that as a silent acquiescence, he ended the meeting with a curt nod and disappeared in a blink of an eye.

Part 9:

"Are you sure you can do this?" he asked as she watched Devolich, the Lord Demon sharpen her blade and daggers.

"What think you? Are you now trying to tell me that I can no longer do my job? What is with all these questions anyway? Have you so little faith in me now?" she asked sardonically.

Silence filled the room as the question hung in the air unanswered. Sensing the intimacy of the conversation, the demon moved to the next room and began to work on her armor.

"It has nothing to do with my faith in you, which by the way, has never waivered. 'Tis only that I want to make sure that you will come back to us in one piece," he said calmly.

She shrugged her shoulders, her pride stubbornly keeping her from reassuring him. Knowing it was a lost cause, he grabbed her blade from the table. Running a finger through its edge, she watched as a thin line of blood spilled on the lustrous metal. In an instant, his finger was back to the way it was before, completely healed with no scar to show where the blade had cut it.

"You and I both know that there's something weighing heavily on your mind. You can try and deny it but you only fool yourself. If you can assure me that you can at least put that aside while you go on this mission, I'll settle for that and leave you be. If you can't, then I have no choice but to send someone else in your place," he treaded carefully, not wishing to put to her on the defensive again.

She tore her gaze away from his imposing form, contemplating his words carefully. Taking her silence as the answer, he motioned behind him. A young female vampire appeared on his side awaiting his orders.

"Be gone!" she commanded fiercely at the form whose worshiping eyes gazed at her lord reverently. Eyes of metallic grey snapped into hers, full of confusion, fear
and ill-concealed contempt. Turning to her Lord, she watched as he nodded his assent at the Imp Lady's words. With a final look at her lord, she reluctantly left them alone.

Dry laughter emerged from her lips knowing the young vampire was still within earshot.

"I'm glad you find something amusing in all this," he retorted. Shaking her head in mirth, she walked across the room to meet him.

"'Twas quite entertaining, really. I think she hates me. She was clearly besotted with you," she mocked.

"Aren't they all?" he asked, a glint of amusement in his cold eyes.

"Not all, I'm sure," she evaded.
"And just to ease your mind, I had already decided before you came here, to take someone along with me," she said, as she began to gather up her weapons, amused that she shocked him by those mere words.

"I meant what I said about my faith in you," he began.

"Nay, 'twas not your lack of faith in me that urged my decision to take someone along," she said softly.

Without hearing the question lurking in his eyes, she answered it.

"'Tis my lack of faith in myself."

Part 10:

The voyage to Carendel took eight long days. After stretching her numb legs before her, she quickly got up to her feet as she rummaged through her sack. Certain that everything was in place, she silently treaded towards the gangplank.

An indiscernible sound to her right caught her attention. With a slight motion of her hand, she climbed down the plank, quickly concealing herself in the shadows behind the trees. Thankful that night had just fallen on this land of light, she waited in silence.

A slight sound to her left warned her that someone was fast approaching. Unsheathing her dagger, she stood still ready to pounce on the unsuspecting traveler. She heard him whistling a merry tune as the scent of liquor reached her nostrils. Relaxing, she turned her dagger around, clenching the metal tightly, thankful that she had worn the thickest pair of dragon skin gloves that she owned. Sighting the drunk fellow, she crouched waiting to pounce and ready to knock him unconscious. Before she could take a step, a gurgling sound reached her ears.

Hearing the loud thud, she quickly ran towards the fallen man and dragged him into the woods. She noticed the deep cut on his neck as thick red blood gushed out, spilling to her gloved hands. Without thought, she grabbed a long thick cloth from her sack as she applied a powerful healing balm to the wound given to her by Solmyr, Elder of the Fallen Sect. Noticing that the blood has thinned out, she quickly wrapped the cloth around his neck. Gathering her items, she quietly moved deeper into the woods, leaving the man alone, but alive.

A chuckle reached her ears as she entered a concealed cave.

"Always the good one, the pure of heart," mocked a hissing voice.

"Why did you do that?" she asked despite the fact that she already knew the answer.

"He's an enemy. That's what you do to enemies," he sneered.

"You forget we are not here to murder everything that moves. We are here to find out if there really is any sense of truth behind this treaty that these Niordians want with us!" she quickly replied.

Even in the dark she could see the warm blood that drenched her gloves. Knowing it was pointless to try and clean them, she took the gloves off and laid them on the rock beside her.

"Yes. Like we actually believe that these damned people will want to work with us to defeat another enemy. We are the bigger threat. As soon as I heard about this treaty, I knew that there's some sort of trickery involved! I will kill at will before they can turn around and beat me to it." he spat.

"You are here because I deemed it so. If you cannot follow my orders, then be gone with you. Return to Tamia and play your childish games there," she interrupted.

"I will not linger by like a coward. Anyone that crosses my path will feel the wrath of my blade!" he replied vehemently.

"You forget yourself, imp. Your duties are to me, to Sinisbe and to Arnak. You'll do well to remember that!" she admonished.

With cold contempt glittering in his eyes, he bowed to her and disappeared into the shadows.

"Harness that anger, Folken. I sense that you will need it before this is all over," she whispered sadly.

Part 11:

By the light of the waning moon, she crept slowly, reaching the southern gates of the city. The sound of footsteps ahead alerted her of a small group heading her way. Sneaking inside a dilapidated building, she stood hidden in silence.

"Can you believe that? That was one of the greatest duels I've ever seen!" exclaimed a young man.

"Yes, Lord Grip was awesome to behold. I cannot wait 'til I can train with him!" said another man excitedly.

"I surely doubt you will have the skills that he has no matter how long you train," added a surly voice.

"Don't be such a bear," laughed a young woman's voice.
"Surely, you aren't jealous."

Laughter filled the air as the group walked away, still teasing their companion.

Sighing with relief, she snuck out of the building, remaining in the shadows as she made her way to Carendel's Bank, knowing that some residents will be there exchanging gossips. Before she reached her destination, a scream broke the silence of the night.

"That fool!" she hissed furiously as she quickly followed the sound.

She found herself, once again, before the South Gates of the city. Two bodies, both bloody and unmoving, laid before her. Quickly scanning her surroundings, she grabbed the healing balm from her sack and applied them to the bleeding wounds. Before she could cover them with healing cloths, a slight sound behind her alerted her of people heading her way.

"There was an attack, my lady!" whispered a young priestess reverently to her companion.

Kneeling before the bodies, the elder woman examined their wounds, a frown etched on her lovely face.

"This does not make any sense," she muttered.

"What is it, my lady?"

"They have suffered mortal wounds to the neck, but the bleeding has stopped and the wound is slowly healing."

"But how is that possible?"

"I know not. This balm is not of our land. Have a couple of warriors carry them to the temple. Mayhap, they can tell us what happened here once they are conscious," she ordered.

The shadow concealed in the night did not stir as she watched the young priestess run to find help. Glancing at the woman that still knelt by the unconscious bodies, she watched as Morgiana's glowing hands heal their wounds. Reluctantly, she quietly moved towards the bank, wondering as she did so.

"How is it to give life, instead of taking it?"

Part 12:

In the depths of the night, she made her way to the City Bank, hoping that she will find the answers she sought. Feeling weary to the bone, she crept slowly to the doors but halted when it opened, a flurry of white rushing past, obviously in a hurry. Sensing the urgency, she decided to follow it, instinct telling her that it would lead her to a discovery.

She found herself inside the jewelry store of the city. Large as the shop was, she barely found room to squeeze into, as it was filled to capacity by the Niordians. Huddled in the corner by the door, she made herself as small as possible knowing that the risk of being found was too great.

"I'm telling you, 'tis evil that attacked them!" shouted a large paladin warrior over the noise that shook the building.

"I dont see why we waste such time 'talking' about this when there's someone, maybe more, who is lurking about in the city, killing the unsuspecting!" he added.

"Lord Leyrith, I understand your frustration but we need to make sure who the attacker must be. You know we cannot risk an open war with the followers of Arnak right now. We have enough to worry about with the Darikorians," replied a tall man patiently, a serene look upon his elven face.

At that statement, the noise in the room escalated as everyone began to give their piece of mind. Though she felt queasy, the Imp Lady was thankful for the noise. The more chaotic the room was, she thought, the better her chances of being able to get out undiscovered.

"SILENCE!" a powerful voice boomed. Holding her breath, the shadow watched in awe as that one command seemed to have a control over the universe. Nothing moved nor made a noise as she saw a Tamian walk directly to the center of the room. Reverently, the Niordians bowed to him.

"This is a time for all of us to work as one, not to bicker and argue. Now, if you are done trying to outdo each other, maybe we can get some work done and find this...filth. Lord Jagorn, what of our trackers?" the Tamian asked.

"My men have yet to find tracks. We need a bit more time and maybe, luck will give us that something to start with," replied the Ranger Master.

"I fear the only way that will happen is if someone else gets attacked and I wont have that. My lady, how long will it take for those two young ones to awaken?" he asked, addressing the only woman in the room.

"I know not, Lord Avatar. Their wounds are completely healed, that is true. But when their minds will clear again, I cannot tell you for it is up to their spirits to do so," Morgiana answered softly.

With clenched fists, the powerful Tamian nodded, determination etched in his features. Opening his mouth to speak, his eyes turned towards the door, his head leaning to one side as if listening to something that no one else in the room could hear.

"While you were busy bickering amongst yourselves, you failed to realize..." he whispered.

Waiting for him to finish what he was saying, the group looked at each other, confusion written all over their faces.

"My Lord? You were saying?" whispered a young man. Ignoring him completely, the Tamian took three steps to the door and reached into the dark corner. Gasps of surprise filled the room as they beheld the body that was in the arms of their great leader.

"Well, well, Lady Cierra. You sure are far from home," whispered the man who held her.

"Good eve, Lord Klorn, now put me down," she replied impudently.

Part 13:

It was too bright. She felt pain shatter her into pieces as she tried to open her eyes. The blare of light blinded her as she tried to stand only to fall back down. Glancing at her feet she noticed that they were tied.

Reaching over with her bound hands, she tried to grab the glowing band that held her ankles together, only to quickly pull them away. Glancing at her palms, she noticed the blisters that were already starting to form where it had burned her.

Sighing with defeat, she quickly scanned the room only to find nothing but the brilliant light that seemed to emanate from its cold mirror walls. Leaning her head back against its cool surface, her mind quickly tried to remember the past events only to find out she could not do that either. Nothingness enveloped her mind yet she knew that something had happened for how else could she have ended up here.

She looked at the wall across from her, noting her clear reflection. She saw a deep cut on her forehead as well as the bruises that covered her body. Even with the robes that covered her, she knew that bruises were hidden underneath as well.

Shaking her head in frustration, she tried to remember what happened again only to find her reflection with its glazed eyes staring right back at her. As if on cue, her slight frame began to shiver as cold seemed to emanate from the walls.

Curling herself into a little ball, she closed her eyes, not knowing wether to cry for mercy or give in to the void that was slowly starting to close in on her.

From her parched lips came a small sound, yet no words escaped them. Pain from every part of her body seemed to have awaken and slowly began to make its way up to her head. With a startled gasp, her body arched back as blood began to seep through the thin robe she wore. The cuts that marked every inch of her bled once again, drowning her in crimson pain.

As blackness overcame her, she heard a scream. But with no strength left to find its source, she surrendered to the void.

Part 14:

"Stop it! Can you not see she's in pain?" screamed a woman as she watched the bruised and blodied form on the ground shiver.

"My fair lady, she is our sworn enemy. What would you have me do? Shower her in rose petals and fine wine?" mocked a cold voice.

"But she has done nothing to deserve this. She has not had her chance to tell us her purpose for being here!" she implored.

"She was spying! Once she knew what our plans are she would have run back to her damned people and told them. Then what? Must we suffer more at the hands of these devils?" he nearly shouted.

Sensing the anger her companion was trying to control, the woman kept her silence. The stubborn glint in her eyes did not waver yet she knew that nothing could be done for the prisoner.

Her hands wished nothing more than to touch the other woman's wounds and heal them. But she knew that to aid an enemy was no less than treason in the eyes of her people.

"Our Lord Avatar said to keep her as weak as we can, without killing her. He means to question her about everything. With her mind weak and unguarded, he will be able to find out all that she knows," he explained softly.

Silence stretched for what seemed like ages between them. As both stared at the unconscious body, neither knew what to say. Sighing deeply, the man finally spoke.

"I apologize, my lady. It was not my intent to be harsh with you. You'll have to leave now. You are making this task unbearable for me," he whispered.

Knowing that it was a loss cause, Morgiana dropped into a graceful curtsey.

"As you wish, Lord Khelban," she murmured softly.

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