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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
Mathew Babaoye
Apr 24, 2016
9 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!umTIJbkW0XQvGMmsvgEFposted on PENANA

Up here it was as cold as her heart.copyright protection68PENANACVpjj9lmB5

Goldenslaughter gradually left behind the ever fainter roar of the waterfall below, pressing steadily onwards up the snowy trail towards the steaming mouth of a cave. Her wrapped arms held the faintly glowing silver cage to her chest while a white wind, howling down from the icy peak above, continued snarling her long blue-black hair and flapping her black cloak behind her until she finally ducked inside of the cave’s warm black maw.copyright protection68PENANAt5rmOby97z

Mmm.copyright protection68PENANA7X4OKrggIU

The interior was dim, and smelled faintly sulfurous. She glided away from the furious wind still raging outside while almost unconsciously using her monolithic Will to bid the ensorcelled shadows (always) threaded within her blue-black hair and clothing to resume streaming both ethereally behind her. Rounding dark boulders, she approached a subtle glow gusting warmth, which eventually resolved into roughhewn steps leading down through dark, solid rock towards a bright glow…copyright protection68PENANAVkQkD9tZv5

I’m getting excited!copyright protection68PENANA4Zbvm0GU9O

Goldenslaughter began descending, the stairs curving around, and around, and around. Warmth and sulfurous fumes intensified, until they had become searing heat and hellfire vapors rising from a harsh red light emanating from the nearing depths. She went the last few steps and emerged onto flat ground, gliding out now into a vast cavern of dark rock threaded by black, cold magma, with brighter flows shining across the shimmering distance.copyright protection68PENANAuhLz5w0lMJ

Will you allow a meet?copyright protection68PENANAgI363HgxGM

Her red lips tightened. “I will sit you in their playing ground,” she promised curtly.copyright protection68PENANACLLOh7OY2Y

A feeling of tempered glee.copyright protection68PENANAMxfy6k47GQ

I am in no mood for warm feelings. The dark immortal one headed carefully out along the path of dark rock anyway, wending around dark red pools of cooling magma for a while before the first bright flows were bubbling around her, with furnace heat pressing increasingly heavy…copyright protection68PENANARWzU3CBk9i

All Powers had their rules, limits, and opposite. Her own Power was dark as the night, and cold. The Elements here were therefore inimical to her just the same as the bright, hot Power of the Sun Prince, and had already begun to corrode her immense Power almost imperceptibly…copyright protection68PENANA7M4TBl0pk3

Eternal. That is what I am. Nothing can stop me, and nothing ever will. I am the Queen of Night! Goldenslaughter still shifted the faintly glowing cage to her left arm to wipe beading sweat from her forehead with her right hand. Nearing dark, humped rocks where infrequent spumes of superhot white smoke rose amongst the increasingly bright flows of magma collecting into wide pools, she finally sighted the small, glowing red forms (cavorting throughout the area) of…copyright protection68PENANAo6BDEIYJPF

Salamanders.copyright protection68PENANAAGC9BFMd0W

Yes…copyright protection68PENANAw7IA0jW1Jg

There were mythic creatures attuned to certain Elements: dryads for water, sylph for air, faeries for wood, and Salamanders for fire. Although lacking enough Power to ever threaten her, such beings could often sense the seasons, dangers, or weft of Fate better than so-called higher forms…copyright protection68PENANA57nGL2oJLe

They are honest at least, and will not badger me like some others always do now. Goldenslaughter began gliding more slowly while also allowing the heat-drained ensorcelled shadow to fade away, which caused her ethereally streaming blue-black hair and black cloak to gradually fall gently back down behind her and only ripple normally from the motion of her stride.copyright protection68PENANApmV1vwHhJH

A few salamanders glanced her way, then scampered off.copyright protection68PENANAegPWQQgMR0

Flowing to a smooth stop in this deserted front of their den, Goldenslaughter set the faintly glowing cage down upon a ridge of black rock between two large molten pools, turned and swept off again as slowly as she had approached, passing a few humped rocks before settling gracefully onto one higher. She faced back towards the silver cage glowing faintly amidst the dark rock, watchful...copyright protection68PENANA3X8qDTs2De

A feeling of expectation.copyright protection68PENANAg2Ac36IKos

Most salamanders ignored the cage, although a few nearby eyed it briefly before quickly scampering farther away. Time passed, and a few swam through nearby magma pools for a closer look, before diving back into the bright liquid with searing PLOPS. Until…copyright protection68PENANAsCIhzz7PmZ

Hello.copyright protection68PENANAQpWYQASiCv

Slithering up onto the dark ridge came a single small, glowing red salamander. It stayed low, wriggling closer to stare briefly into the cage’s luminescence, then scampered and leapt back down into a molten pool with a searing *SPLASH*.copyright protection68PENANAxTx75BdNmB

Mmm. I like them!copyright protection68PENANAgOeZ5NycCU

Goldenslaughter smiled wanly, looking satisfied about this test now safely passed (despite her pale face glistening).copyright protection68PENANActk8raIjsk

Hello! Hi!copyright protection68PENANAP0en7jYl7k

A pair of the little flame Elementals chased onto the ridgeline, the first hiding behind the cage, and growling, before the second prowled after it. The first leapt upon the second and they tussled, eventually bumping into the cage. Both froze, then the second scampered off hissing with the first close behind it before abruptly stopping, and glancing back….copyright protection68PENANAXo8bneYWrB

Goldenslaughter tensed.copyright protection68PENANAQD4aLwluQN

I won’t hurt you…copyright protection68PENANAPFO32Vm1hu

The first salamander shifted, suddenly scampering back over to the faintly glowing silver cage before skidding to a halt nearby. It crept slowly closer, gave the cage a sniff, then turned and cried out sharply. Many of the numerous others paused amidst their general play. Some turned and splashed over through magma pools, while some scampered across dark rock to climb up the dark ridge upon which rested the faintly glowing cage.copyright protection68PENANAmeSuqfJpca

It’s ok.copyright protection68PENANA02N5dzCy3s

“Tch.” Goldenslaughter was relieved, however. Finally letting go her held breath, she then curled up onto her side upon the flat black rock. Her eyes slowly closed to slits, still watching…copyright protection68PENANAmT8aWb6jdn

copyright protection68PENANAOzCG43WNs8

The red-glowing salamanders played about the faintly glowing silver cage now, clearly accepting of its presence. Some even nosed near it, peering close upon the interior luminescence...copyright protection68PENANAXtbLyplbXp

She blinked her heavy-lidded eyes, still baking there upon the black rock, in the bright heat…copyright protection68PENANAEkiNvfYByb

But…copyright protection68PENANAZmKC3OFZC7

A familiar presence slowly, gradually built behind, approaching in such obvious fashion so as to clearly announce itself and avoid misunderstanding.copyright protection68PENANA8zBjlaIGlG

Eh? Goldenslaughter blinked, slowly…copyright protection68PENANA5Z0nMwCL7b

The salamanders gave shrill cries of excitement as the presence neared close, and closer, before it stopped just behind, waiting…copyright protection68PENANAX7yIJCxpB9

Hi…copyright protection68PENANAwJJ834iLLD

Still lying there upon the flat black rock, Goldenslaughter continued staring, through her heavy-lidded eyes, upon the excited salamanders who only slowly, gradually calmed back down. With nothing else changing, they eventually resumed normal play and examination of the cage.copyright protection68PENANAsQDteqZRb7

A companionable silence…copyright protection68PENANA29eBRYdonP

“So which one is it?” the Lady finally asked.copyright protection68PENANAyUzh2Cmko7

Finally. Her eyes screwed shut.copyright protection68PENANAYRYBkc2j3d

It had been a long day, week, month, and seemingly endless progression of immortal years now since her personal Power diminishment had begun. She had ignored it at first, then when the signs were clear researched it, experimented with it, fought it, and finally attempted one last saving grace: capturing a miracle in the cage. But now she was tired. So very, very tired. Of all the endless courtly games, the posturing, and the deceit. But most of all, she was deathly tired of all the shadow truths.copyright protection68PENANAr6nGHeEVD2

Free yourself.copyright protection68PENANAKbXkt0WQll

“It is a Nightglory,” she finally answered quietly.copyright protection68PENANAXjcVVx7XQb

Silence.copyright protection68PENANAbihyYZNDVq

The fire Elementals continued at their rambunctious play ahead of them, each one energetic and innocent, unknowing of the stakes rising around them…copyright protection68PENANAFGCD06DXWZ

Young.copyright protection68PENANAjTjvPe2XcT

“All those years ago,” the Lady began softly, “when I found you entrance to the Realm, had you any thought that it would come to this?”copyright protection68PENANA8obqWaqJNl

“Come to what?” she replied tiredly.copyright protection68PENANAat1N62TKZP

“Rule. Change. And the subjugation of your own.”copyright protection68PENANAKiJ3OziRwv

Goldenslaughter opened her eyes again. “The Nightglory is of my kind, but not my aims,” she muttered. “That will change.”copyright protection68PENANAKFTW6Q6wAU

The Lady sighed. “That is not all which concerns me. Your loyal forces are returned to active duty, patrolling aboveground, as well as below. What do you fear?”copyright protection68PENANASKnUxuWrfW

“Nothing,” she growled.copyright protection68PENANAgZf033zlU6

“We know each other better than that.”copyright protection68PENANAQFMKBTAIpa

Goldenslaughter exhaled sharply, but kept her eyes forward: the silver cage briefly glowed brighter, which temporarily scattered the salamanders. It dimmed again, and they all came scampering back, hissing steam…copyright protection68PENANACiVZcsu9UJ

“What of your visit from the Sun Prince?” the Lady pressed. “Is there not cause for the Realm to worry when a foreign Power is allowed entrance? If he decides to return it will be easier now, having successfully traversed Abstraction.”copyright protection68PENANA5bIkbLoL7i

Grinning in response, her pale face shone with sweat. “There will be no repeat of… me.” She gave a short, mad giggle. “He is gone, and what we shared was… purely physical.”copyright protection68PENANASYXFIzyiiY

“You are glib.”copyright protection68PENANAsUgnUtQoDK

Goldenslaughter was abruptly irritated, and finally sat up, but then forced herself to stretch languorously (instead of angrily turning). “They are gone,” she repeated, yawning, “so your worry is touching, but misplaced. And as much as I have enjoyed our recent visits, this meddling is somewhat… unseemly.”copyright protection68PENANA7JWQ47CsTJ

What are you doing?copyright protection68PENANALMHIrpiZIA

“I think you sought me out,” the Lady countered gently. “Why else come to forest pool, mountain peak, and fiery cave? Three points of the Elemental Demesne.”copyright protection68PENANAYaveypIpNl

Still refusing to face her old friend, Goldenslaughter swung her legs over the edge of the rock instead, frowning. “You curate the land. I rule it. So spare me.”copyright protection68PENANAaV46M8eoB7

No answer.copyright protection68PENANA7mUP5lfnlX

The familiar presence withdrew farther behind her. “You ignore such warnings to the Realm’s peril,” came the Lady’s receding voice. “If you would Rule, then do so as a true Queen: protecting us from all harm, even as comes from you…”copyright protection68PENANAYj8tyHTg6G

She has gone too far, now. Goldenslaughter grimaced, then finally turned to retort, and stopped: all way only dark rock, bright molten flows and shimmering heat out to the subterranean cavern walls…copyright protection68PENANACgCHnoQBMr

The Lady was gone.copyright protection68PENANAJUNDJTYYgj

I would add my voice, if it comes to it.copyright protection68PENANAWfD4JbLCrS

Goldenslaughter turned away from emptiness and the faintly glowing cage, both. Running her pale hands along her black-clad upper thighs down to her knees, then back up again, brooding…copyright protection68PENANAj48VLwkC76

Why did they all clamor so? The townsfolk, who begged favor, justice and a firm hand; the Clan, which demanded autonomy and sovereign blessing; the Fae, scattered and cowed only temporarily by her might; the Faerie Queen, for truth; the Slythy, for chaos; the Lady, for balance…copyright protection68PENANA3Q1RtKKsJ1

A spark inside of her, building heat…copyright protection68PENANAMGgpK0AwC2

Had she not kept the Realm safe? No outside threat loomed. The Sun Prince was nothing and now, like all the rest, was locked safely away beyond the Border with no easy way back in regardless of what others thought, unless she allowed it.copyright protection68PENANAoV6xQS3bub

Anger, and building suspicion…copyright protection68PENANAhx1ipv39XN

There MUST be something else, afoot. Not a personal doom, as the Slythy would gleefully have it. Perhaps. But a growing danger. Perhaps her long withdrawal from active governance of the Realm, as necessary as it had seemed at the time to concentrate on the full restoration of her Power, had allowed for something unforeseen. Though the rumors of danger had still reached her, in more ways than one: unrest, dissent, doubt. In her Power? No, they could not know the truth of it. Not even the Slythy…copyright protection68PENANAbJts8esJK4

But…copyright protection68PENANAL9ZRGQJK1e

Sudden rage.copyright protection68PENANAVjMXCbsGlq

No.copyright protection68PENANAuw9XYicr1X

A pale figure in a black cloak: she flowed back up to standing, then paused for a moment amidst the molten heat before gliding forwards, salamanders scattering, to pick the cage up, wrapping it in her arms again as her monolithic Will began drawing enough from her immense Power to transform her ensorcelled shadow into darkness swirling beneath her, defying the inimical heat…copyright protection68PENANAvN6vENmoyo

Yes. Her Will must be strong.copyright protection68PENANADuIprkBU1W

A feeling. Do not give into that nature.copyright protection68PENANAkvtutsMFTO

The Queen of Night cackled in response, as swirling, living darkness continued building below, making her the pale, black-cloaked center of a black vortex. If firm rule is required then so be it: by open hand or closed fist, I will now lay all concern to rest.copyright protection68PENANADpCJVgxhF6

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(end of Penana version. Full story will be posted at a later date)copyright protection68PENANAgggJKJbxp5

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