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Nightglory (3rd Edition)
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Writer Mathew Babaoye
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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Nightglory (3rd Edition)
A - A - A
The Answer
Mathew Babaoye
Apr 16, 2016
8 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!9ImwML19uLGg2Oizd1sIposted on PENANA

Illuminated eerie-green by the wavering light from witchfyre torches still burning along its dark, subtly crystalline walls, Caer Nocht's Feasting Hall was empty save for a Queen, a cage, and a cup.copyright protection55PENANASwFD1R29fU

Do as I have asked and you will not face it alone.copyright protection55PENANA6pDsWpeYzJ

Queen Goldenslaughter was sloshing wine by circular motion of her goblet while staring away from the faintly glowing silver cage nearby, upon the tabletop. “I am not alone,” she finally declared, then drained the goblet in one long swallow…copyright protection55PENANAJgZL4ikhjM

A distant scuff.copyright protection55PENANA0ciFPkxStN

Turning slowly towards the central aisle, she forced her mouth to carefully form syllables into: “my goblet needs filling.”copyright protection55PENANANAcq29Ph7o

But the old, hard-bitten gold carpet was empty…copyright protection55PENANA0QE0BJiW0C

No answer.copyright protection55PENANAJ1O2GEnewR

“Mmm.”copyright protection55PENANA1jreJunzLu

You seem alone to me.copyright protection55PENANAYMkDMWm4Sm

Goldenslaughter blinked. “I am NOT alone.” Her eyes wandered over to a nearby flagon still waiting. “Wine is ever faithful.”copyright protection55PENANAHCovE492iG

It is not wine.copyright protection55PENANATkZkyJOViA

Frowning, she upended the flagon…copyright protection55PENANApgmKT8Gfdz

Empty.copyright protection55PENANACUb0pQ5zSo

“Wretch!”copyright protection55PENANAfLIf6gYUbh

Feasal chose this moment to enter the Feasting Hall. Wearing his normal purple and black livery of service, her ancient head servant nimbly dodged the flying flagon, which shattered on the subtly crystalline dark floor behind him, then strode down the old, hard-bitten gold carpet before finally stopping at the base of the Dais to kneel, with his head bowed. “Queen of Night.”copyright protection55PENANAuBxRlrZ1Hd

Goldenslaughter peered down at him. “Yes?”copyright protection55PENANAAj7MkxCq7v

The stubborn gnome glared up at her. “You are in no fine state to tend your Queenly duties. Especially with guests…”copyright protection55PENANAOmgxCmNAhZ

Goldenslaughter arched one of her dark eyebrows, and waggled her empty goblet at him. “A fine time for wine...”copyright protection55PENANASMApDVRDWy

Ignoring this, Feasal stood up. “I have done the best I could in your previous… absence. But have you forgotten so soon? It is time for our new weekly accounts meeting.”copyright protection55PENANAQxSYkdwWDD

“It is not…” A brief hesitation. “Opportune,” she finished firmly, then shooed him away. “Write me up a list. Elsewhere. For I am occupied.”copyright protection55PENANAssZJZC6Mcn

Feasal grumbled, but turned and strode back down the old, hard-bitten gold carpet to head back into a dark passage…copyright protection55PENANAL5amuOhmse

Gone.copyright protection55PENANAVjMNh61N3E

She blew out a breath…copyright protection55PENANArv7qe62kTf

Alone. Again. Always.copyright protection55PENANAIEkS1PHic9

Unless…copyright protection55PENANAx7tjVLpWys

Queen Goldenslaughter turned slowly back again, her attention drifting across the empty Feasting Hall tables until she was staring across the high table upon the faintly glowing cage. She absently twisted the Ring upon her finger, around and around…copyright protection55PENANAA0YHqcOtxH

copyright protection55PENANAJfm48nUQF6

She was surrounded by enemies: friends turned foes shouting curses, foes turned murderous screaming violence, strangers, and behind them all burned light…copyright protection55PENANAZcetw9eV5N

The Daybringer, rising.copyright protection55PENANAoGNmoezcI6

She reached for her Power…copyright protection55PENANATrmfwvDrli

Gone! And her Title, with it.copyright protection55PENANAylvMO1V2X1

“I will show you!” she raged. “I will cast you all down and grind you to dust! To nothing! Until you are only a memory of the dead!copyright protection55PENANAPmHCI5Riiz

The hateful circle closed around her, leering as they came into further focus: her own forces, the Lady, the Slythy, and others long dead but achingly familiar even after all this time, including…copyright protection55PENANApc1Lsxg5ZB

Her living Champion: the Barbarian Knight.copyright protection55PENANAoxXTjLVeNS

She screamed defiance as they swarmed over her…copyright protection55PENANAfDeXgX37gl

Awaken.copyright protection55PENANAGFxHrZfI4e

Goldenslaughter opened her eyes…copyright protection55PENANAktLhm52ijQ

… then sat bolt upright, her chest heaving, in her dark, canopied bed within her dark, palatial bedroom atop the Great Keep of Caer Nocht. She was safe, secure…copyright protection55PENANAbztqwJnzRE

And still possessed of Power?copyright protection55PENANAVxjsfLsvtx

Why not?copyright protection55PENANAKN0v4nA6FU

The dark immortal one reached out her insubstantial hand, her monolithic Will bidding ensorcelled shadows beneath her black nightgown to twine from the sleeve out across her bonewhite skin, before imbuing them with enough Power to shade into corporeal, living darkness spiraling through the air (like a black tentacle) to grasp the cup upon her bedside table and return it to her. I have a thirst. She took a long gulp, then dropped the empty cup among the tangled sheets while squirming over to the side of the bed. Now I must see it again with my eyes. Swinging her legs over the side, she stood and then walked across rich throw rugs, passing by silken screens shielding curios, including the faintly glowing silver cage upon a stool, until finally throwing back open her shuttered double-doors…copyright protection55PENANAWQuqg1aEA1

… to emerge back out onto her sumptuous balcony, beneath the crescent moon hanging high up in starry sky. The dark forest vale was spread beyond, all surrounded by distant encircling mountains whose upper slopes were luminous with low aurora. Well. All seems well. She inhaled the cool night air deeply, and exhaled.copyright protection55PENANAiwzCYPnrkQ

I warned you: augury is not the answer.copyright protection55PENANAY4DZAImbO1

“You are right this time. I am done with sleep, and Dreaming,” she whispered, then raised her clenched fist high before using her monolithic Will to funnel massive Power into the living darkness surging up her bonewhite arm towards the suddenly glowing Ring which flared briefly bright before the surging darkness enveloped it, shading pure dark, and gradually even deeper, and truer, to pure black now BURNING with the perfect chill of the Void.copyright protection55PENANA6LSAc9BmNc

A feeling of utter shock. How?!copyright protection55PENANAo6JYIHN598

The dark immortal one responded only with a low moan of pain between her clenched teeth. It is devilish-difficult to maintain this new application of my dark Power long enough to fully cleanse the forged Ring their stolen Essences. Ohhh. Such pain to cleanse the source of my nightmare. Once satisfied all was well, she then let go her hold upon the Void, which allowed her arm to shade back to pure dark, darkness, and finally shadow dying away, under the shining moonlight, until her arm returned back to bonewhite skin. Always effort, but at least it was new. She exhaled raggedly, brought her bonewhite hand to her bonewhite face and sniffed the cleansed Tool before finally just holding it up against the shining crescent moon…copyright protection55PENANAW8dz7NitZ6

The Ring looked different.copyright protection55PENANAv5SoG5xisl

Well, the deed is done. Goldenslaughteer sighed, turned, and returned into her palatial bedroom gently softened by moonlight now shining in through the still open balcony doors. Whatever. Eventually ploping back down onto the bed, she left her tired slender body splayed across the tangled folds of luxurious covers…copyright protection55PENANAvQreO9WCf5

Stillness.copyright protection55PENANAKbdXLkL3OK

Her eyes began closing–copyright protection55PENANAakQ3Iw8fOA

The Faerie Queen was right to caution you.copyright protection55PENANAAkr2ygcuSr

Her eyes screwed firmly shut. “Enough.”copyright protection55PENANAzDDNBo8msW

A feeling of resentment.copyright protection55PENANA7ChXGZuOfj

Tch. You must be better with it. Goldenslaughter groaned, then turned her head and gazed towards a set of silken screens edged by the faintest glow from the hidden cage. “I… sorry. I am sorry. And not myself.”copyright protection55PENANApQDRSb74G0

You are always yourself, even when you refuse to admit it.copyright protection55PENANAwfE93fybB0

Wriggling under the covers now, she then peeped out with her sly eyes. “Tell me a story.”copyright protection55PENANA8JDqGjpb8F

A bedtime story?copyright protection55PENANAuyw8ppjxtZ

“An interesting story,” she warned.copyright protection55PENANAy0fcajrIv3

Mm. But it will be one you know.copyright protection55PENANAJDMn3tHtEQ

Goldenslaughter grumbled, but closed her eyes…copyright protection55PENANA98oFgO4Amy

Silence.copyright protection55PENANAAUyQ6J9yrE

Until…copyright protection55PENANABbioymRfQv

A long time ago: Little One ran away from home.copyright protection55PENANA5ZEuEViIwF

The Realms are many. Little One came first to the Plane of Fear. Aimless for a time, the pressing weight there grew and grew until it eventually became completely unbearable. Nightmares had become friends, monsters heroes, and light dark…copyright protection55PENANAh6zQXGz7e0

The crucible was slipped, and escaped.copyright protection55PENANAMQb4eKr5Zh

Little One travelled the Trail of Sorrow for a longer time. People came and went. Fellow travelers, some. Friendship blossomed like a weed, but love was reserved for flowers, and the Trail was rocky…copyright protection55PENANAA5hfzVaSEG

With bloody feet, it was eventually abandoned.copyright protection55PENANAxWN7MKNlR2

The Mountain of Rage came next. Little One climbed it instead of going wide around. Lost for a time in the rocky heights, the peak was eventually found, and crossed...copyright protection55PENANAmDSyI6iabi

Although not without cost.copyright protection55PENANAsMnJ1XFcQk

In the Land of Peace, Little One found no respite. The people were kind, but careful. There was no want, and a restlessness grew...copyright protection55PENANASogFv2qini

It was left in haste.copyright protection55PENANAkJVdhEjzPv

Little One crossed the Sea of Joy, marveling at the strangeness of it all. Creatures of the depths were discovered, normally hidden from sight. A voyage of discovery…copyright protection55PENANAShhg1jdGv3

But all voyages come to an end.copyright protection55PENANA0osg4XiugG

Little one debarked at the Port of Pain, and lashed out…copyright protection55PENANAMBqIOHn7hc

There was naught to do but leave.copyright protection55PENANAC9uUpvdDbJ

Crossing the River of Regret after, Little One found trackless wilderness. No map could show the way now, so far from all that was commonly known. Little One trekked, and discovered, and came across a treasure: Hope….copyright protection55PENANAHb79sb6LGn

Bartered off without good purpose, the true value unknown.copyright protection55PENANArsYRbMzyTR

Quit of the wild, Little One finally settled among the old Town of Tribulation. Learning, and growing. Building a place to call One’s own…copyright protection55PENANAKw0eqqKE4V

Years passed. Life went on, and Little became Big...copyright protection55PENANAnL7vVzG2ln

Until one day came a message from afar. Afterwards: Big One closed up shop and embarked on a journey, heading back...copyright protection55PENANApNPnE09ez3

Big One crossed the River of Regret and returned to the Port of Pain, enduring now without complaint to set sail. The Sea of Joy was again a delight, and all was savored until arriving at the other side, satisfied. In the Land of Peace, Big One took more care. There was value to be found, and it was sought… yet even still, eluded. Peace was left again, though with a vow to return. Going wide about the Mountain of Rage, Big One found the Trail of Sorrow. All was seen anew, and it was bittersweet. Halfway along, another way beckoned. The Trail was left…copyright protection55PENANA5jz6y0xjEB

And…copyright protection55PENANAe2nlxiVekg

Big One took the Path of Truth, short and narrow, back to the Plane of Fear. Standing between here and home, she crossed it, though it seemed to hold power no longer. Heroes, nightmares and dreams all changed to memory. Big One finally returned home, and found it small. Changed… but so was Big One, who had forgotten the reason for running away in the first place.copyright protection55PENANABK3q7IrhX0

Understanding. Peace. And finally…copyright protection55PENANAk2kU8TUFcz

Unity.copyright protection55PENANAhrBEN9XIni

Big became One, and One ruled all. Though someday, another Little One would come…copyright protection55PENANAZY23p9MRqJ

Goldenslaughter opened her eyes…copyright protection55PENANASLLdFU7AAj

… then sat up in her dark, luxurious canopied bed. “This version is… different.”copyright protection55PENANA9RLLwyUthh

There is more.copyright protection55PENANALggNkFX6xo

Ignoring this, she hopped out of bed and swiftly headed for the entrance door, firmly pulling it open now to reveal coiling, living darknesscopyright protection55PENANAPp9ACPuJp5

A *grinding* sound, then a metal glint became the Wraith Knight’s helmet, turning.copyright protection55PENANA3yWOjsneWE

“Rouse the Emissaries,” Queen Goldenslaughter commanded firmly. “I have an answer.”copyright protection55PENANAvHVLvfrtlZ

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