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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!goQNWqOUZaM2MeqdhX0Hposted on PENANA

Up here it was as cold as her heart.copyright protection58PENANAvIMusrB3eX

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 protection58PENANAXumOiie6ce

Mmm.copyright protection58PENANAgZh2eHgwFh

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 protection58PENANAda0ZFsqgwF

I’m getting excited!copyright protection58PENANAdtaAisSxy5

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 protection58PENANALP53SjK8Qp

Will you allow a meet?copyright protection58PENANAq3zq3eSuvo

Her red lips tightened. “I will sit you in their playing ground,” she promised curtly.copyright protection58PENANA9ISjjaLbHk

A feeling of tempered glee.copyright protection58PENANAgtalw2Fgbv

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 protection58PENANAGBzg1DuU7Z

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 protection58PENANAjhIbB2mnd3

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 protection58PENANAHuxRP3Uvk5

Salamanders.copyright protection58PENANA00GAgIdLCk

Yes…copyright protection58PENANALVBu6dwsAJ

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 protection58PENANAwhd39373yr

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 protection58PENANA8zrP9Ixmt9

A few salamanders glanced her way, then scampered off.copyright protection58PENANAHe5jJbwfE6

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 protection58PENANAZbodexglBP

A feeling of expectation.copyright protection58PENANANKoezyX6Vq

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 protection58PENANAgCFlVpxrEc

Hello.copyright protection58PENANAyEnWRCt8Y5

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 protection58PENANAXMPm1pUYwQ

Mmm. I like them!copyright protection58PENANAoMs48otGP8

Goldenslaughter smiled wanly, looking satisfied about this test now safely passed (despite her pale face glistening).copyright protection58PENANATnMhkDUNMS

Hello! Hi!copyright protection58PENANATJEI6F71EE

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 protection58PENANAR2qj7zHAgx

Goldenslaughter tensed.copyright protection58PENANAJ9Vvqf9k3V

I won’t hurt you…copyright protection58PENANAdXFSFLyNMc

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 protection58PENANArDfSXmsFXI

It’s ok.copyright protection58PENANAdGS8ciolDs

“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 protection58PENANAhQpWI5HhSu

copyright protection58PENANAtk7Id55GL3

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 protection58PENANApYKh6WAvid

She blinked her heavy-lidded eyes, still baking there upon the black rock, in the bright heat…copyright protection58PENANAXz3nwMsd3l

But…copyright protection58PENANAHwGPfUVlAG

A familiar presence slowly, gradually built behind, approaching in such obvious fashion so as to clearly announce itself and avoid misunderstanding.copyright protection58PENANAo0E8hL4Rhn

Eh? Goldenslaughter blinked, slowly…copyright protection58PENANA4fX8CtU4GY

The salamanders gave shrill cries of excitement as the presence neared close, and closer, before it stopped just behind, waiting…copyright protection58PENANApou6eK0a5A

Hi…copyright protection58PENANAQtAvCShHKy

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 protection58PENANA4PN1XpuSub

A companionable silence…copyright protection58PENANAQUzl0O60Yb

“So which one is it?” the Lady finally asked.copyright protection58PENANABPFclh4CYO

Finally. Her eyes screwed shut.copyright protection58PENANAa3EY4BnyuR

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 protection58PENANAJlMjGM8NM7

Free yourself.copyright protection58PENANAYnXEAiWEUU

“It is a Nightglory,” she finally answered quietly.copyright protection58PENANAt5X732JrBd

Silence.copyright protection58PENANAjky5EfRN2E

The fire Elementals continued at their rambunctious play ahead of them, each one energetic and innocent, unknowing of the stakes rising around them…copyright protection58PENANAV12SFCaCh5

Young.copyright protection58PENANAxKbuSfxBG8

“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 protection58PENANAP0to58DXVG

“Come to what?” she replied tiredly.copyright protection58PENANACQHEIngTZy

“Rule. Change. And the subjugation of your own.”copyright protection58PENANAZwia1bpzM6

Goldenslaughter opened her eyes again. “The Nightglory is of my kind, but not my aims,” she muttered. “That will change.”copyright protection58PENANAHC6a0ciEae

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 protection58PENANAkM42rNqIHq

“Nothing,” she growled.copyright protection58PENANAgHXzSZKhyx

“We know each other better than that.”copyright protection58PENANAof9vq9IJOT

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 protection58PENANAX8G2b7QCPx

“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 protection58PENANA26eZF7Zpox

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 protection58PENANAWNN6jdf1W4

“You are glib.”copyright protection58PENANAUUdBWoIM0y

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 protection58PENANAk3Ez3kG2J5

What are you doing?copyright protection58PENANAzGSnMbB2dx

“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 protection58PENANA68rjJoIsaJ

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 protection58PENANA0uMF3QZJSJ

No answer.copyright protection58PENANAOsqHPcTqf6

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 protection58PENANAYmfqGYOpqZ

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 protection58PENANA8ruV6xL6hD

The Lady was gone.copyright protection58PENANAQ66gNVtGmJ

I would add my voice, if it comes to it.copyright protection58PENANANk52LM1Abr

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 protection58PENANAzjT3e0B07S

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 protection58PENANAEXZKeMFIt2

A spark inside of her, building heat…copyright protection58PENANArhnxk8jlIu

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 protection58PENANANiOGl3GX3O

Anger, and building suspicion…copyright protection58PENANAQHLPr0C7I5

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 protection58PENANAa9nxHHG03p

But…copyright protection58PENANAvQHjx3ne0q

Sudden rage.copyright protection58PENANA2Q8NFANhIw

No.copyright protection58PENANAnSFLqns6nw

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 protection58PENANAvTmccUgz8g

Yes. Her Will must be strong.copyright protection58PENANA0a79YMJM4s

A feeling. Do not give into that nature.copyright protection58PENANAiskYdLlGRJ

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 protection58PENANAcnCzAPtQpB

*****************************************************************copyright protection58PENANA6qMezK1jx5

(end of Penana version. Full story will be posted at a later date)copyright protection58PENANALPy6OLRasI

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