White Fire 5.13 – Epilogue

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Author Note: Read chapter 5.02 – Leon first or you will be lost. It was only added last week.

Nature is the Dark One’s church.

— UNKNOWN

The vault of heaven hung above the clearing where Leon sat, illuminating the darkness in front of him with help from the campfire that roared at his back. As his eyes scanned the night for danger, he took solace in the warmth and the light. Yet the four little ward stones arrayed around the campsite gave him no comfort at all. The stones were not perfect, the types of monsters they warded against were limited to those creatures that had been sacrificed in their creation, and out here in the Northern Reaches there lived countless beast unknown to man. Worry gnawed at him. Continue reading “White Fire 5.13 – Epilogue”

White Fire 5.02 – Leon

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One true friend is more useful than a hundred brothers.

— ANCIENT PROVERB

Cries of “Murderer!” nipped at Leon’s heels as he bolted through Viscount Baldur’s private apartments, fear clawing at his throat. Though no stranger to the emotion, never had it seemed this insidious; it dug deep into his flesh, scratched at his bones. If not for the need to keep moving, he would have collapsed in sheer terror. This was the most daring part of Ypse’s plan, possible danger awaited at every turn, in the form of an invisible Lightbender, in the shape of a descending sword. And there was no telling until he felt the blade in his gut. No telling! Continue reading “White Fire 5.02 – Leon”

A Monster Inside 1.02 – Asbjörn

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A Cultivator is composed of three aspects: the first he displays to the world, the second he shows to his family, and the last he reveals only to himself.

— ASBJÖRN MAKI, PERSONAL JOURNAL

Despite the sun blazing overhead, the large inner courtyard was suddenly cold enough to make Asbjörn shiver, and only years of practice kept his teeth from chattering. The chill had nothing to do with the wind blowing down from the snow-covered peaks of the Rin Mountain range and everything to do with the prana being siphoned from the air. His white robe offered no protection, and neither did Hjörtur’s black stone ramparts and walls; the former stronghold of the Sorcerer-Kings was both ponderous and ancient, but it could not protect from what was already inside. The golden, dragon-hilted longsword in Asbjörn’s dark hand felt like a block of ice. Continue reading “A Monster Inside 1.02 – Asbjörn”

White Fire 5.12 – Erik

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When you’re in love, a corpse-laden cavern becomes a bed of lily flowers.

— ERIK ITO, TO HANNA

Something vital snapped inside of Erik. Hanna. Hanna had been raped, fuck them all! His soul burned, red-hot magma boiled in his marrow. The hurt reminded him of how he felt when his mother died. This could not be happening, not to him. Not again.

Erik howled, batting aside memories with the power to shatter nations, smashing them to dust with the strength of his fury. Hatred beyond knowing churned within him as waves of liquid fire splashed onto jagged shores with every twist of his serpentine frame. He burned on the outside and in, melting, changing into something else entirely. Something more humanoid, with scales and hands. All the while, sinking deeper into the fiery hell. Continue reading “White Fire 5.12 – Erik”

White Fire 5.11 – Erik

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Love is the primary comfort of dreamers, whether, in summer or winter, it burns brighter than any fire.

— ANCIENT PROVERB

Beyond the warmth and the darkness, there was nothing.

The heat came from within and sometimes from without as soft points of contact that briefly moved across the darkness. Warm, and painful. He had started using the pain to estimate the passing of time as his consciousness grew. The touches always came at the same interval, or at least they seemed to. It was hard to tell. His thoughts were fragmented and limited to the awareness of the warmth and the darkness.

An unknown amount of intervals later, so Continue reading “White Fire 5.11 – Erik”

White Fire 5.10 – Erik

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All are equal in death.

— ANCIENT PROVERB

Erik howled, a dwindling sound of rage that echoed through the cavern as his dragon flesh bubbled and warped, shrinking in size with each passing moment until he collapsed to his knees, once again in human form. Bruised lungs expanded with ragged breaths, and arms shook while sweat dampened the back of his neck. Too close. That had been too close. He had almost lost himself to the bottomless pit of hunger. If not for Patrick . . . if not for. . . .

Hauling himself to his feet, Erik dabbed at the dirt on his robe and surveyed the destruction he had wrought with a sense of awe twisting the pit of his stomach. Deep grooves scarred the land, joining pools of green into lakes of fire. Dead Dökk sat in piles like wheat at harvest, next to infernos that once had been Vatn Björns. One such eight-legged beast lay prone in front of him, yet instead of flames, monstrous teeth had devoured its carcass. The enticing aroma of cooked and uncooked meat caused him to grunt in disgust at the sicking need that filled him to the brim. Continue reading “White Fire 5.10 – Erik”

White Fire 5.09 – Hanna

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We suffer as you suffer. Maybe not always in the same way, but we suffer.

— HANNA ITO, TO ERIK

Hanna was not sure how she remained conscious this long. Her body stung from the tumble down the tunnel and the plunge into the green pool. The gash on her forehead throbbed in concert with her slowing heartbeat, and her lungs burned from lack of oxygen. Surrounded by the glowing fluid, her awareness drifted. There could not be more than a moment or two of life left in her. The battle was over; she had lost, and Ypse had won.

Erik, I’m sorry. I tried. Continue reading “White Fire 5.09 – Hanna”