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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!8XiPwoN4BGts6WlFGvYIposted 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 protection89PENANAYp1w7M0GYz

Do as I have asked and you will not face it alone.copyright protection89PENANAt6xLV3aJ8L

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 protection89PENANApBdwyzbe4a

A distant scuff.copyright protection89PENANAX2zZzGLAnJ

Turning slowly towards the central aisle, she forced her mouth to carefully form syllables into: “my goblet needs filling.”copyright protection89PENANAaQQHBMLLvT

But the old, hard-bitten gold carpet was empty…copyright protection89PENANAwVvKr4kDjp

No answer.copyright protection89PENANANgsmf230Cq

“Mmm.”copyright protection89PENANAJNhzuSmfER

You seem alone to me.copyright protection89PENANA9bMEWdJhQ2

Goldenslaughter blinked. “I am NOT alone.” Her eyes wandered over to a nearby flagon still waiting. “Wine is ever faithful.”copyright protection89PENANAGDi90xb4yO

It is not wine.copyright protection89PENANAviBMR5Fdlk

Frowning, she upended the flagon…copyright protection89PENANA5uvR9s4SJV

Empty.copyright protection89PENANAUqzdzAKKEj

“Wretch!”copyright protection89PENANAy9BaWsgBGB

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 protection89PENANAVM6rDgUI9D

Goldenslaughter peered down at him. “Yes?”copyright protection89PENANAE44dhDO2os

The stubborn gnome glared up at her. “You are in no fine state to tend your Queenly duties. Especially with guests…”copyright protection89PENANAlXCW8ypoa6

Goldenslaughter arched one of her dark eyebrows, and waggled her empty goblet at him. “A fine time for wine...”copyright protection89PENANA06S6xvnrew

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 protection89PENANA5SA96SNUUc

“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 protection89PENANAnfaZbiyBGJ

Feasal grumbled, but turned and strode back down the old, hard-bitten gold carpet to head back into a dark passage…copyright protection89PENANAHGPzNn5bOk

Gone.copyright protection89PENANAHUci4jaSd5

She blew out a breath…copyright protection89PENANA4BkfAwx97e

Alone. Again. Always.copyright protection89PENANASOVIoJ5tUT

Unless…copyright protection89PENANANCO0VSj6Kx

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 protection89PENANAbP8w5J3DTa

copyright protection89PENANARMZNunxzRs

She was surrounded by enemies: friends turned foes shouting curses, foes turned murderous screaming violence, strangers, and behind them all burned light…copyright protection89PENANAtF4hF09Z7U

The Daybringer, rising.copyright protection89PENANAxiKGPPqSsj

She reached for her Power…copyright protection89PENANA3k537zqE8i

Gone! And her Title, with it.copyright protection89PENANA7CXcTDc3Dj

“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 protection89PENANAYbCIRsyhk0

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 protection89PENANABokGrsgS7p

Her living Champion: the Barbarian Knight.copyright protection89PENANAae18qUMDYq

She screamed defiance as they swarmed over her…copyright protection89PENANAXWBAFt2dKn

Awaken.copyright protection89PENANAemMz2d2i6a

Goldenslaughter opened her eyes…copyright protection89PENANAHhpJpQEctC

… 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 protection89PENANACrzd1fH4ts

And still possessed of Power?copyright protection89PENANArIOdhQrk9x

Why not?copyright protection89PENANAuROTBeJfqd

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 protection89PENANAS3EshGHYKb

… 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 protection89PENANAqcTeqa5Rvf

I warned you: augury is not the answer.copyright protection89PENANApZ6eTHtDXU

“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 protection89PENANAQPXvhebZdW

A feeling of utter shock. How?!copyright protection89PENANAaD93SzeXrJ

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 protection89PENANAcRJj5C1yfY

The Ring looked different.copyright protection89PENANAt6OqB5FN5S

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 protection89PENANAKfwTiosxmU

Stillness.copyright protection89PENANAgzL0SRCUqS

Her eyes began closing–copyright protection89PENANATTYHkANZnS

The Faerie Queen was right to caution you.copyright protection89PENANAS78o1rNuY9

Her eyes screwed firmly shut. “Enough.”copyright protection89PENANAofJafB1Rwr

A feeling of resentment.copyright protection89PENANAKplI7FiVFG

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 protection89PENANAOxOWWPnKjm

You are always yourself, even when you refuse to admit it.copyright protection89PENANAUHBDRQfTIL

Wriggling under the covers now, she then peeped out with her sly eyes. “Tell me a story.”copyright protection89PENANAlsbGbjlue1

A bedtime story?copyright protection89PENANAa3yZZvOng8

“An interesting story,” she warned.copyright protection89PENANAJaPlNHb2BT

Mm. But it will be one you know.copyright protection89PENANAOWm0CxjY1x

Goldenslaughter grumbled, but closed her eyes…copyright protection89PENANAZcBybA40Yk

Silence.copyright protection89PENANA8IuY3iGelh

Until…copyright protection89PENANA89du9Q2tP4

A long time ago: Little One ran away from home.copyright protection89PENANA1PgCosdssb

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 protection89PENANAMAThyXzecV

The crucible was slipped, and escaped.copyright protection89PENANAvk4JPeARIq

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 protection89PENANAWJfclEEy67

With bloody feet, it was eventually abandoned.copyright protection89PENANAJTHDafAKuN

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 protection89PENANAF07KKXZlPH

Although not without cost.copyright protection89PENANALLq1YLFDjM

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 protection89PENANAK3FrHPHiAc

It was left in haste.copyright protection89PENANA5fccZWaYiZ

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 protection89PENANAF3K55IRLlb

But all voyages come to an end.copyright protection89PENANAx5ecxW2feC

Little one debarked at the Port of Pain, and lashed out…copyright protection89PENANArjSEwRBGQT

There was naught to do but leave.copyright protection89PENANAGwXqC28tNu

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 protection89PENANAFlATx8PAn4

Bartered off without good purpose, the true value unknown.copyright protection89PENANAcPo4uUW5BN

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 protection89PENANAZhjWIWZRpN

Years passed. Life went on, and Little became Big...copyright protection89PENANAl48WYF4Ofs

Until one day came a message from afar. Afterwards: Big One closed up shop and embarked on a journey, heading back...copyright protection89PENANATshhxLctRO

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 protection89PENANAgQ5AMOwMFW

And…copyright protection89PENANAz11HX0m2OC

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 protection89PENANAuH4MZByb5p

Understanding. Peace. And finally…copyright protection89PENANAZmf5W2TtPz

Unity.copyright protection89PENANApoAq5yqsBf

Big became One, and One ruled all. Though someday, another Little One would come…copyright protection89PENANA45X9SWKq7Q

Goldenslaughter opened her eyes…copyright protection89PENANAQ6c6c995CY

… then sat up in her dark, luxurious canopied bed. “This version is… different.”copyright protection89PENANAE1mfsrOTTp

There is more.copyright protection89PENANA8Yv67o2SOa

Ignoring this, she hopped out of bed and swiftly headed for the entrance door, firmly pulling it open now to reveal coiling, living darknesscopyright protection89PENANAIFhULt3UzG

A *grinding* sound, then a metal glint became the Wraith Knight’s helmet, turning.copyright protection89PENANATeHftaHi3A

“Rouse the Emissaries,” Queen Goldenslaughter commanded firmly. “I have an answer.”copyright protection89PENANAIcydiGBlyq

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