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Adventure
Mythology
Nightglory (3rd Edition)
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Writer Mathew Babaoye
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  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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Nightglory (3rd Edition)
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#12
The Answer
Mathew Babaoye
Apr 16, 2016
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113
8 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!eH350VZejlkklZP2aFfxposted 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 protection113PENANA1uL8tK3FLH

Do as I have asked and you will not face it alone.copyright protection113PENANAk0oo6pj6EC

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 protection113PENANArYXMYMO8r3

A distant scuff.copyright protection113PENANAFtxrB1bEHX

Turning slowly towards the central aisle, she forced her mouth to carefully form syllables into: “my goblet needs filling.”copyright protection113PENANAm2XLq3aJ9P

But the old, hard-bitten gold carpet was empty…copyright protection113PENANAmANknM6bUy

No answer.copyright protection113PENANAfA1N2DOdiw

“Mmm.”copyright protection113PENANAbEy8pYcAIm

You seem alone to me.copyright protection113PENANAp5XdpkZvwU

Goldenslaughter blinked. “I am NOT alone.” Her eyes wandered over to a nearby flagon still waiting. “Wine is ever faithful.”copyright protection113PENANA4Lv6zxJoK1

It is not wine.copyright protection113PENANAUVGs46qhH8

Frowning, she upended the flagon…copyright protection113PENANAD7dAlDVk8r

Empty.copyright protection113PENANAfddKjNh3b2

“Wretch!”copyright protection113PENANA55YMx3SYkA

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 protection113PENANA6YHkz2Xun6

Goldenslaughter peered down at him. “Yes?”copyright protection113PENANAWDkaoDXFH8

The stubborn gnome glared up at her. “You are in no fine state to tend your Queenly duties. Especially with guests…”copyright protection113PENANAIMeHyLKrJ4

Goldenslaughter arched one of her dark eyebrows, and waggled her empty goblet at him. “A fine time for wine...”copyright protection113PENANA1Q2JbCM869

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 protection113PENANAf3NzdbdbRU

“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 protection113PENANAjzHxggj0H3

Feasal grumbled, but turned and strode back down the old, hard-bitten gold carpet to head back into a dark passage…copyright protection113PENANA5JT8t4KfdR

Gone.copyright protection113PENANApsUc28nfje

She blew out a breath…copyright protection113PENANA9DORb57v6P

Alone. Again. Always.copyright protection113PENANAybzsk2x5iK

Unless…copyright protection113PENANAXHdRUf0ivk

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 protection113PENANAxFXlw9qDEw

copyright protection113PENANAtdI2F35c9n

She was surrounded by enemies: friends turned foes shouting curses, foes turned murderous screaming violence, strangers, and behind them all burned light…copyright protection113PENANAX65bXZqYhW

The Daybringer, rising.copyright protection113PENANAiPBfa7pBL4

She reached for her Power…copyright protection113PENANA8fhRhXUma3

Gone! And her Title, with it.copyright protection113PENANAK79Pi7PJ57

“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 protection113PENANAFnWhD7o3Ia

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 protection113PENANA7RppIHmD4x

Her living Champion: the Barbarian Knight.copyright protection113PENANAHOFREXYtH4

She screamed defiance as they swarmed over her…copyright protection113PENANABnsxE6E39n

Awaken.copyright protection113PENANAdheDHXk4Bo

Goldenslaughter opened her eyes…copyright protection113PENANABidg9Re8lV

… 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 protection113PENANAdWjFuXM80W

And still possessed of Power?copyright protection113PENANAwedLSVIcZj

Why not?copyright protection113PENANABACPRMH5U2

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 protection113PENANA17ZkNtiACj

… 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 protection113PENANAw9yKUqFDDE

I warned you: augury is not the answer.copyright protection113PENANAXefz36lKbg

“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 protection113PENANANdoNxbgQLT

A feeling of utter shock. How?!copyright protection113PENANA9i2H2X8HBL

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 protection113PENANAmy0B83HuOT

The Ring looked different.copyright protection113PENANAKC68pEkGv6

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 protection113PENANAAEoDmqAu8b

Stillness.copyright protection113PENANAgvKg6SkOm8

Her eyes began closing–copyright protection113PENANAI7LPgauARZ

The Faerie Queen was right to caution you.copyright protection113PENANAGrD540wFvF

Her eyes screwed firmly shut. “Enough.”copyright protection113PENANARLaB2hum5Q

A feeling of resentment.copyright protection113PENANAvOYgDer7Oi

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 protection113PENANA7vJLBOL7th

You are always yourself, even when you refuse to admit it.copyright protection113PENANAMk3WW5eqrk

Wriggling under the covers now, she then peeped out with her sly eyes. “Tell me a story.”copyright protection113PENANAhW8fdMtEUi

A bedtime story?copyright protection113PENANAW1OGMpuyxY

“An interesting story,” she warned.copyright protection113PENANAPjjTgfYuGq

Mm. But it will be one you know.copyright protection113PENANAPXnXdAKHeE

Goldenslaughter grumbled, but closed her eyes…copyright protection113PENANAZaFOQsel0L

Silence.copyright protection113PENANAjQ5CJmRHRx

Until…copyright protection113PENANA8GvvDI5npk

A long time ago: Little One ran away from home.copyright protection113PENANA2pvHemasHa

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 protection113PENANAd00jDKFvsw

The crucible was slipped, and escaped.copyright protection113PENANA3Acy5QhbeH

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 protection113PENANAvg61Yln8N4

With bloody feet, it was eventually abandoned.copyright protection113PENANAj15kkJ4Zew

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 protection113PENANAwh6IQcz7oN

Although not without cost.copyright protection113PENANAOT4VV3gib3

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 protection113PENANAnv5tPpcUpr

It was left in haste.copyright protection113PENANAqVJxEzJdH7

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 protection113PENANA1w16rW9Ifk

But all voyages come to an end.copyright protection113PENANAMCQR6FgjzG

Little one debarked at the Port of Pain, and lashed out…copyright protection113PENANAK0Buxf3htL

There was naught to do but leave.copyright protection113PENANApuhrAIoKrD

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 protection113PENANA4dgV4nAlGa

Bartered off without good purpose, the true value unknown.copyright protection113PENANA1raCVISZ0l

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 protection113PENANAKpQ1QrKebb

Years passed. Life went on, and Little became Big...copyright protection113PENANASgp8btwMPc

Until one day came a message from afar. Afterwards: Big One closed up shop and embarked on a journey, heading back...copyright protection113PENANAXQD8tzQmyQ

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 protection113PENANAHjgyl605lb

And…copyright protection113PENANAhdsGmEaSqZ

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 protection113PENANA5oQJwkimGR

Understanding. Peace. And finally…copyright protection113PENANAdoatWvAXBV

Unity.copyright protection113PENANA9S9BzwfKpG

Big became One, and One ruled all. Though someday, another Little One would come…copyright protection113PENANAKv4AeAUwXA

Goldenslaughter opened her eyes…copyright protection113PENANAobZyFV3fTF

… then sat up in her dark, luxurious canopied bed. “This version is… different.”copyright protection113PENANAb2ylD7STSh

There is more.copyright protection113PENANAzCMEd1e7yc

Ignoring this, she hopped out of bed and swiftly headed for the entrance door, firmly pulling it open now to reveal coiling, living darknesscopyright protection113PENANAIWoHu3Dyix

A *grinding* sound, then a metal glint became the Wraith Knight’s helmet, turning.copyright protection113PENANAduzLPcTH6L

“Rouse the Emissaries,” Queen Goldenslaughter commanded firmly. “I have an answer.”copyright protection113PENANAZFoMjBNyJl

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