Untitled (in no particular order)

Merrenwen

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Ever fluid, thinly strewn handfuls of cotton careened onwards throughout the dimly lit evening skies, blanketing the derelict ruins that stood pridefully at attention atop a lone, treacherous spire fitted centrally within a barley coated valley. Colored parallel to the numerous, swaying golden stalks that thrived within the valley, deftly flickering candles joined hands to illuminate an archaic, obsessively scrawled series of primitive texts and runes in deep amber: The site stood out amidst the relative darkness that encroached upon the land as the evening gave way to become nightfall. A beacon, forlorn and stranded.

It was here that Eyonias’ purpose -- paramount to any other -- was mantled atop the crown of the world, a peak known unfondly as The Lone Watcher. Tediously, she had sewn the means to harvest each and every stone -- however crude or ornate the rock -- to forge the path that lead her up this very spire, and to the destiny she had so craved since her unpleasant birth. Be it the dull wits of opposers (be they her own blood or, otherwise), the machinations of wise, cutthroat nobility, or the orderly -- if misguided -- intentions of seekers of order: Her blood-stained hands had sated the price that had to have been paid for her dreams. Every grave prepared was mere grim necessity: Every stone that had paved the way to the circle of which she loomed affront here, and now, had been done so with blood.

When the ritual she slaved to scrounge together through years of effort had been completed, no life (from the very servants whom had aided her to this point, to the most base blade of grass) would survive. Her most subservient and efficient allies, -- both pawns, and friends, -- flanked her sides, briefly granting her tributes of their readiness in curt, simple nods and dutifully delivered words of finality and acceptance. Silent shufflings saw her companions surround the circle, assuming the positions that would allow them to take place in the ritual that would alter the very fabric of this world: A ritual, designed to pierce and negate the very laws that bound any simple man to the limitations of the world.

To pierce, reality.

Kings and armies fell before mortality, castle walls, kingdoms, and peace, rotted unfailingly before the test of time, and nature itself devoured its own children and rebirthed them, robbing them of memory, purpose, and form. The endless cycle of the universe that saw mortality reduced to ash, forgotten, and scattered to the wind in due time: However many corpses it took to end such a thing, she, and her order, had dedicated themselves to overcoming any obstacle, -- however seemingly impossible, -- and finally, they had done it.

It was here at the universes center -- with the power she had amassed -- with the corpses numbering thousands, that she reached out to the very heart of the world. Reduced to mere energy, the souls, once individual and precious, soared from distant, rotten flesh in brilliant, wispy streaks of light towards the circle, which now glew blindingly, in warning, as the ritual commenced. Azure and white streaks raced skywards in the thousands, blotting out the brilliant, peaceful hues of golden grain that once dominated the valley - shading the very world, in a pronounced, heatless blue.

It was once again, -- energy overwhelming coursing through their veins -- that the friends she had gathered granted her one, last, sorrowful nod, as the world grew colder. The dead, now used - made way for the living: Lovely, opaque gold withered and crumbled to charcoal dust, flesh writhed and bubbled, devoured by decay, and the very color drained from all things - from all that was - and soon, as the power amassed had reached the heights it had been so devotedly planned for - Eyonia muttered the last few words of her incantation.

The very world, devoured in, onto itself - and soon enough, all, was dark.

• • •

Eyonias lids laxly parted and gave purchase to a groggy, wandering gaze laced with anxious curiosity. Sensation assaulted her, the stark contrast to the nothingness she had experienced upon completing her aims prior, causing her mind to suffer from an overwhelmingly nauseating strain that pierced into her skull like needles.

Hesitance brewed as her eyes felt the blinding ferocity of the sun beating down upon her gaze, a soft, moldable loam squeezed between her anxious fingertips, and the secure, solid feeling of ground beneath her seated body. As her eyes adjusted, dimming the intense assault on her two, luminous ochre orbs, she peered about her cautiously, surveying the scene around her.

Dangerous familiarity rang throughout her temple as she observed long, swaying reeds by a muddied, swampish waterside: It was a place she knew well, and a place she cherished.

She would spend her long summers here, working the nearby rivers in pursuit of game with her father, further down the lake. It was here, nestled between the reeds and one large, gnarled willow that her eyes turned to spot, that she would hide away from the insistences of her parents, and the life they sought her to lead. Her fingers hesitantly shifted as she sought to find purchase and pull herself up out of the dirt - only to grace the hard-backed spine of a book. She regarded the surprise, eyes trailing fondly over the simple, base words, ‘The heroes of Celador.’

It was a novel that she had read whilst young, and one of the vital first steps in her departure from her family, and her pursuit of purpose out in the wilds, adventuring with strangers, falling in love - falling out of it - losing, and gaining friends, and becoming the woman she inevitably was now.

If only it could go back to being like this.

It was a single, powerful thought, but the mere presence of it upon her mental tongue, left her throat unpleasantly tart and acidic. It was only then that she considered her purpose, and, in desperate attempt to assure herself that she hadn’t failed, and gone to some form of afterlife, she concentrated and directed her thoughts towards the water.

The currents whirled and sparked to life without any need for an incantation or so much as a shred of her essence - and what could have amounted to excited success, was cut short by scolding voice.

“Carmen. Louise. Montrose.”

The starkly crude, monstrously deep echoes of her fathers voice reverberating throughout and out of his throat in desperate escape, assaulted her with a shock that left her reeling. A hand, powerful and large, suddenly clasped around her wrist, and pulled her up high, lifting her off of the ground.

Her eyes shifted to meet the gaze of her Papa: A broad shouldered, homely dressed man with defined, toned muscles, simple, homely garb, and a vacant, angry expression that defined him all too well in her eyes. She felt his free hand, -- as it was often inclined to do, -- smash the knuckles and back flat of itself against her cheek, leaving the flesh raw and swollen.

“What did I say, you ungrateful, disobedient little gnat? You do not cast your cursed, violent magics on my property,” He all but spat - his face contorted with rage, fresh, and newly invigorated with the powerful strike of his hand. He always had gotten excited, when he hit someone: It gave him purpose. Made him feel in control.

The thought of incinerating him flickered into her mind, however brief: Whilst this had been her past, once, her ritual had not been prepared without the sacrifice of far, far more than merely her enemies, and allies. Gone, was the wistful young woman who sought out adventure and companionship: Before she had cast the spell, and brought herself here - before her legs shook, and quivered at the touch of her father - before the confusion of the end result of her efforts had left her reeling - she had been called by one title more commonly than any other: Witch Queen.

She had raised an order of those determined to serve her - raised the death from those whom would not, - and cursed and murdered the remainder of those who proved more durable than their associates, given due time. It wasn’t out of her capacity to rip the very essence from his form - to shred apart his being, twist and remake it - to reduce him to begging, choking sobs - but she couldn’t. Or perhaps, she just wouldn’t.

He continued as she remained there, shaking in his grip - he lost no harshness in the newly mentioned delivery of scolding mockery, instead, opting for strengthened ferocity, “You’re the reason your Mother is in bed, all of this worthless, magic nonsense brings you ever further from your life here - your life as the base, uninformed child, no matter how much you think otherwise.” He tossed her to the ground, and quickly jerked his attention from his daughter to the book that had been next to her hand. He picked it up, and in a scene that played straight from her memory - she sat, watching, as he started ripping out and crumpling the pages, tossing them into the nearby mire.

All of this adventuring nonsense: You don’t understand what you’re playing with, how ungrateful you are towards I, and your mother - and worse yet - “ Hel loomed forward, bringing the book straight across her cheek, which caused her to reel in shock - falling powerlessly against the earth and tasting the earthy, foam-covered mix of grass and mud that composed the earth.

“You think magic.. Your little ‘Gift,’ will help you?” He snorted, soon bringing one, iron-tipped set of toes down against her neck, whilst his heel dug into the earth. “Look at you, girl: No matter how much magic you learn - no matter how hard you try, you’re still, just a filthy, disobedient farm girl who disgraces and her own family.”

A hand, thick fingered and muscled, gripped hard into her scalp. The words, final and all knowing, seeped into her skull as much as the wet, sticky earth did through the crack forming as his grip tightened. Blood, trickled quickly down through her hair, to her face.

All of that magic, and you can’t even protect yourself. You’re never going to amount to anything, and you know it, don’t you?”

Nothing changed.

The leather heel started digging into her throat, forcing the tunnel into a tight, unpleasant crunching strain against the earth, as desperately, she tried getting up to no avail. “No matter how hard you struggle, little pup - you’re always going to be subject to the foot of reality. My foot. You’re on my property - you eat my food, you sleep in my bed, and no matter how hard you try - you’re never, ever going to leave.”

No. I can control my own fate, now.

A small, toothy, if somewhat understanding grin flashed across her father's face as he turned her around, and looked down at her. He extended his hand towards her to help her up - but a smug, victorious expression was all her could offer her after the brief flashing of mercy faded from his eyes. Her torn novel was on the ground, now, ruined.

“Face it, girl. This is how it’s always going to be, now, and forever. Why don’t you stop being so stubborn, make a nice big fire out back with me to burn those cursed books - and settle down where you belong. Behave, like you belong?

Never.

The thought sparked across her mind, and within an instant, the very earth around her, sparked into flame. Her father's face melted and contorted, horrifically unrecognizable, and the earth around her burned to ash, fading away on a powerful wind that ripped the world into one, distant focal point, and brought the universe once more, into nothingness.

• • •​

Her eyes opened slowly once more.

As she stared into an endless, formless abyss, she saw what could only be described as starlight, gently humming outwards from innumerable, indescribably large amounts of pulsing, spherical balls of energy.

Her chest, panting softly, rising and falling with the gentle sparkle of each distant light, glowed with a similar, orb-shaped light that drew the attention of her own gaze. Her fingers trailed atop her breast, gently caressing the flesh where a powerful, rhythmic thrumming of energy emanated from - and without much hesitation, pointedly, she looked back to the endless stars, and started to walk.

It was difficult at first: There was no solid earth, only space, - but with a bit of will, she steered herself as if soaring, peacefully flying her way towards the closest, brightest star she could spot. Hours passed: Memories, powerful, and flashing, circled about her head - ones of family, and friendship, - words strung together, granting purpose and longing for home - but she knew that what she had come from, whatever world she had ended up in before, with her father, wasn’t the fate she had promised both her followers, and herself.

As she drew closer, she felt the energy of the star radiating onto her - felt it get brighter, and more blinding - and unlike the one centered within her chest - it offered a radiance that was far from dim and pleasant. Her flesh started to hiss, bubbling gently, and as she drew nearer, her eyes drifted across the resplendent wonder with awe, as more memories - more sensations, and more feelings, overwhelmingly flowed through her head. She drew nearer - this time, the hiss turned into a bubble, and she felt an overwhelming wrongness: A wrongness, screaming at her to return. Get away. You’re going to die -

But she didn’t stop. It wasn’t just memories, now, she could see people: Whole continents, cities, people living about their lives: The more she strained, the more she could see. She could pick out each and every one of them, learning of their stories and merits, feeling what they felt - seeing what they saw.

The burning, grew more insistent. A presence, foreboding, and invisible - a force without identity - started to tug her backwards. She desperately started to claw forward - further pursuing the ever brightening, blinding star, which had all but reduced her vision to a foggy, hazed blur - but she felt herself getting further. She knew it within her heart as the world tried to rip her away, desperately, that the people there weren’t memories: They were real. Real, like her: They were unique, and different - they were something she couldn’t make up. She pursued another star - and another - all whilst the universe groaned and protested, attempting to pull her away - growing stronger by every moment.

“No matter how hard you try, you’re never, ever going to leave.”

She felt her father's words ring throughout her head, felt him pulling her back - pulling her back towards the hell she had created upon destroying her world - where only her, her memories, and whims remained - and she resented his tug.

It grew more aggressive and intent on tugging her away: She abandoned her simple curiosities and instead opted to reach ever more powerfully towards the nearest world. She desperately, futily grasped at it, attempting to enter - attempting to let herself in - but she felt her body sear and burn even harder, - she felt his grip, tighten, and strengthen.

“No matter how much magic you learn - no matter how hard you try, you’re still, just a filthy, disobedient farm girl who disgraces and her own family.”

She felt tears sting her face, as the culmination of years of effort, the sacrifice of her friends and family, of innocents, and of the entirety of her own world - still were not enough to surpass the next obstacle that she didn’t forseen - couldn’t have forseen, as the reality of her world being only one of many - of infinite more, set in.

“All of that magic, and you can’t even protect yourself. You’re never going to amount to anything, and you know it, don’t you?”

No
, she thought: It couldn’t end, like this. However futile, and however base, Eyonia refused to let the triumph of her order amount to nothing, and let the universe trap her there, in her own world: In her own tiny, insignificant shard in an ever expansive galaxy that had existed all of this time, without her even knowing.

No matter how hard you struggle, little pup - you’re always going to be subject to the foot of reality.”

Never.


That singular word of defiance radiated even more powerfully, as she tugged and ripped herself forward with the last vestiges of her strength towards the nearest star: The nearest, real, whole world, where if a shred of her peoples dream could flourish - the battle may still yet be one. She felt her skin melting from her body as the heat grew too intense: Felt her soul scream and move onwards, as the pain became too much to bear - and felt her essence, fleeting, and being reduced to near nothingness, clingingly grip her way into that star - into the blinding, horrible light that was reducing her to ash - and then, felt the world, go black, once again.

Nothingness, once more.

• • •​

Her lids parted for the third, and final time.

She found herself against the grass once more, but there was nothing familiar about the world she saw around her. A simple, homely town with tall, stone-molded walls towered above her to the north, and soon - as she looked down upon herself, her form without garb, or possession - she quickly willed an outfit onto herself.

Nothing.

No thread spun itself onto her form, nor did the world respond in any way to her call. Her head felt heavy and tired: As she stood shakily onto her legs, hands reaching to cover her own form, she quickly made her way over to the nearest town - her eyes glossing over the only thing that she had any familiarity of: A language written in a style similar to her world, inscribed upon a post.

Her eyes glossed over it curiously: The words ‘Thrinot,’ were finely carved into the wood. She muttered to herself, her tongue clicked harshly pronouncing the T at the end, though she butchered the pronunciation in the slightest.

A guard, no doubt uneased by the undressed guest, quickly jogged forward to meet her, and, with some confusion, asked with curt alarm, “Miss - Your clothes?”

The words were crude and different somewhat, taking her aback - but she could guess well enough, exactly what he might be inquiring to her. In a tongue that left some pronunciation to be desired, and other words butchered, and incorrect, she asked quite simply, “Where am I?”

Pointedly, no doubt with well earned confusion - he answered the question, “Welcome ta’ Teiravon, r’ght outside ‘ve Trinit, miss. Now - Please, Please - with me, aye? Let’s get ya’ clothed.” Hurriedly, he wrapped an arm carefully around her upon draping a coat across her nude frame.

Teiravon. A small, victorious little grin flickered across her features, dispromoting another look of confusion from the guard that she paid no mind to.

Another world, another chance: However challenging her time here might prove, she would make the most of this new world, and all of the opportunities and challenges that laid within.
A new world, and a new life awaited.
 
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